MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — This week, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), a leading pancreatic cancer patient advocacy organization, is mobilizing thousands of pancreatic cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates from across the country to urge their congressional representatives to fund more research into the world’s deadliest cancer. Despite a global pandemic that has virtually grounded travel and large in-person gatherings, pancreatic cancer patients are still being diagnosed every day and PanCAN’s critical mission of improving patient outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients does not stop or slow down.

With a five-year survival rate of just 10%, pancreatic cancer is the world’s toughest cancer and demands urgent action to save lives. There is no early detection test for pancreatic cancer and few effective treatments are available. Research funding is crucial to solving this challenging disease – 80% comes from the federal government.

Therefore, thousands of advocates will participate in PanCAN Advocacy Week, reaching out to their members of Congress to share their personal stories about the impact pancreatic cancer has had on them and their families and friends – and the important role Congress plays in funding lifesaving cancer research.

The timing of the pancreatic cancer advocates’ mobilization is critical, as key decisions on federal funding for the new fiscal year budget will soon be made by Congress. Advocates will ask their members of Congress to support $44.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health and for $6.9 billion for National Cancer Institute. Additionally, they will be urging Congress to increase funding for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) dedicated pancreatic cancer research program, which was created for the first time last year as a direct result of PanCAN’s advocacy efforts, from $6 million to $10 million.

«We know that our advocacy efforts are effective. We celebrated a big win with the creation of the DOD’s pancreatic cancer research program and we’re ready to build on that momentum,» said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of PanCAN. «Even if we can’t be together on Capitol Hill this year, our voices can still be heard.»

For more than 20 years, PanCAN has been at the forefront of advocating for research and propelling the national conversation about pancreatic cancer. In 2014, the first year after the groundbreaking passage of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, NCI funding for pancreatic cancer increased by $20 million to $122 million. Between 2014 and 2017 (the most recent year of data), pancreatic cancer research funding increased by more than $76 million. These achievements are due to the hard work of PanCAN advocates.

«PanCAN will continue to privately fund leading-edge research across the country, but federal funding is especially critical now, more than ever,» Fleshman said. «We commend Congress for continuing to prioritize this vital research because we cannot accelerate progress and improve patient outcomes without it.»  

About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. In our urgent mission to save lives, we attack pancreatic cancer on all fronts: research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocacy. Our effort is amplified by a nationwide network of grassroots support. We are determined to improve outcomes for today’s patients and those diagnosed in the future. 

Media Contact:
Julie Vasquez
Public Relations Manager
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Email: [email protected]

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SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network