Arkansan pro­motes cancer-study work

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

Mary Kather­ine Wil­son, a mem­ber of the Pan­cre­atic Cancer Ac­tion Net­work-North­west Arkansas, trav­eled to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., last month to par­tic­i­pate in the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 10th an­nual Pan­cre­atic Cancer Ad­vo­cacy Day on Capi­tol Hill.

The Fayet­teville woman was one of 700 peo­ple who urged mem­bers of Congress to in­crease fund­ing for the Na­tional Cancer In­sti­tute and the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health.

“Re­search is crit­i­cal in the fight against the third lead­ing cause of cancer deaths,” she said in an email. “I started this fight af­ter I lost both my mom and my dad to this hor­ri­ble dis­ease.”

An es­ti­mated 53,670 peo­ple will be di­ag­nosed with pan­cre­atic cancer in 2017, the Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety es­ti­mates. This year, an es­ti­mated 43,090 will die of the dis­ease.

There’s no re­li­able screen­ing mech­a­nism. By the time it is di­ag­nosed, it is typ­i­cally in an ad­vanced stage. The fiveyear sur­vival rate is 9 per­cent.

Wil­son urged peo­ple to call their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ask them to sup­port fund­ing for cancer re­search.

“It is not a par­ti­san is­sue, it is a peo­ple is­sue which could mean life or death,” she wrote.

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