“Pancreatic cancer in particular is the most underfunded, least known about, least awareness of any of the major cancers,” said Rona Greenwald of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network of Salt Lake City.
Greenwald’s passion to get people talking about Pancreatic cancer began when her cousin Wendy died from the disease just nine months after diagnosis.
“Survival rate is so low,” she said. “74 percent of patients die within the first year, so there aren’t people who are alive to advocate, so it's relying on their relatives and the ones left behind who are doing this advocating.”
Armed with the startling statistics and a mission to honor her cousin, Greenwald and others affected by the disease headed to Washington D.C. last month for the 7th annual Advocacy Day for Pancreatic Cancer.
First they thanked lawmakers for passing a bill asking the National Cancer Institute to come up with a framework to battle Pancreatic cancer.
But they also asked for the funding desperately needed to make a difference. Sequestration forced a $250 million cut in cancer research.
“That really puts us in a bad position in terms of studies that are already out there and have to be stopped because the money isn't coming in,” said Greenwald.