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Roger Magowitz, President of Seena Magowitz Foundation.

PANCREATIC CANCER COLOR IS PURPLE. SHOULD PURPLE BECOME THE NEW PINK?

Tony Subia
February 2016

All cancer is brutal. Some more so than others. Breast cancer has led the way increasing its 5-year survival rate to an astounding 89.4%. Pancreatic cancer has languished at a paltry 7.2% for decades.

FEMALE BREAST CANCER: 89.4% 5-Year Survival Rate
About 232,000 new annual cases diagnosed each year with about 40,000 annual deaths.

PANCREATIC CANCER: 7.2% 5-Year Survival Rate
About 49,000 new annual cases diagnosed each year with about 40,500 annual deaths.

Pancreatic cancer is the worst of all cancers and has the worst 5-year survival rate. The overall average 5-year survival is 7.2%. It’s a much worse 2.6% when diagnosed at stage 4. An astounding 75% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within 12 months of diagnosis. While breast cancer has a substantially higher annual incidence rate of about 232,000 cases, about 40,000 will die each year. Pancreatic cancer has now exceeded the annual death rate of breast cancer. [40,000 versus 40,500].

In fair comparison, breast cancer overwhelmingly strikes females whereas pancreatic cancer strikes both genders similarly. Our government allocates a much greater budget share towards breast cancer research versus pancreatic cancer. It enjoys an overwhelming greater grass root fundraising, and substantially higher private industry contribution. These funding advantages led to an incredible 5-year survival rate of almost 90%.

Comparatively, the poor survival rate for pancreatic cancer has essentially stood still for decades. At what point is government funding allocation going to become commensurate and more fairly allocated? At what point will public grass-roots fund raising increase to levels necessary to achieve similar medical advancement results for pancreatic cancer?

Investment in Breast Cancer Research must continue. However, a reasonable target of doubling pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2020.

Let’s get started. We accept the challenge. Will you help us reach that goal? If Not Us, Then Who?

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