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November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Pancreatic cancer remains the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

  1. Pancreatic cancer is cancer that develops within the pancreas, the gland about six inches long that is responsible for making hormones, including the enzymes responsible for the digestion of food and control of blood sugar.
  2. Pancreatic cancer survival rates are poor as more than 90 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year of diagnosis. Recent advancements in pancreatic cancer research have had little impact patients’ pancreatic cancer prognosis, and new pancreatic cancer treatments are desperately needed.
  3. It’s estimated that more than 37,000 people died from pancreatic cancer last year, and another 44,000 will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year.
  4. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, having diabetes, being obese, being over the age of 65, having chronic inflammation of the pancreas, or a family history of pancreatic cancer.
  5. Penn’s pancreatic cancer team is nationally recognized for its specialized techniques in treating pancreatic cancer, and is part of the multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists at the Abramson Cancer Center.
  6. Pancreas surgery is technically difficult, and surgeons at Penn Medicine perform the highest volume of pancreatic procedures, including the Whipple surgery (procedure), in the Philadelphia region, and are among the top 10 in the United States.
  7. There are currently multiple active clinical trials for pancreatic cancer at Penn, two of which are related to the Stand Up 2 Cancer effort. Penn and its fellow pancreatic cancer dream team sites have recruited more than 1,000 patients for these studies thus far, while only a few thousand patients enroll in pancreatic cancer clinical trials in the Unites States every year.
  8. The Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C or Stand Up 2 Cancer) Dream Team at Penn Medicine supports and contributes to pancreatic cancer research.
  9. Members of the Stand Up 2 Cancer Dream Team for pancreatic cancer research at Penn are developing tests using advanced imaging technology to understand pancreatic cancer cells and develop new, personalized pancreatic cancer treatments based on their pancreatic cancer research.
  10.  Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center is one of seven sites coordinating “Dream Teams” and the only site coordinating projects focusing on pancreatic cancer.

Source:  http://penn-medicine-focus-on-cancer.blogspot.com/2012/11/10-facts-about-pancreatic-cancer.html

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