This week I learned that November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Specifically, November 13 is the day that they want everything to “go purple” for awareness and advocacy. Here are some of the statistics I learned this week:
- In 2014 about 46,420 people (23,530 men and 22,890 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- In 2014 about 39,590 people (20,170 men and 19,420 women) will die of pancreatic cancer
- The average lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 67 (1.5%).
- Pancreatic Cancer has a five year survival rate of 6%
- There are 2 types of Pancreatic Cancer – Exocrine and Neuroendocrine Tumors. 95% are diagnosed as Exocrine and 5% are diagnosed as Neuroendocrine.
So, why do all of these statistics matter to me now? Well, on Wednesday my dad was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer (yea that rare 5% one) and I have never felt so helpless in my entire life. People fight cancer everyday and win but with a glaring statistic of 6% live longer than 5 years you can’t help but be crushed.
We think of our parents as these people who will always be around. We think of them as those people who are invincible. We think of our dad’s as superhero’s (even when they don’t deserve it). It is hard to imagine a world without them. You just never contemplate the fact that one day soon your dad may not be around. With life there is inevitably death but it isn’t until you are faced with it that you really consider that fact.
So what do you do when you feel like there is nothing you can do? You help raise awareness. You spread the word. And you hope and pray like hell that your parent isn’t one of those glaring statistics.
Click on any of the images to go to www.pancan.org to learn more about Pancreatic Cancer and how you can help!!
This November I will be raising awareness and wearing purple for my dad!