Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all the cancers tracked by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute that still has a five-year survival rate in the single digits (6 percent).
There are no early-detection tools and no effective treatments. Despite these facts, the federal government has no long-term comprehensive research strategy to combat pancreatic cancer.
My sister, Martha Lobato-Avera, and I will be participating in Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day on June 14 in Washington, D.C., because we lost our father, Joe S. Lobato, on Nov. 20, 2008. He fought a long and hard 16-month battle with this deadly disease. It was very difficult for our entire family to watch our husband and father fade away from this disease.
The best way to fight this disease and change the status quo is to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act (S. 362.IS/H.R. 733.IH). The bill would require the NCI to develop a long-term comprehensive strategic plan to combat the disease. Unfortunately, our very own members of Congress have not yet signed on to this critical legislation.
I would encourage everyone to join me and thousands of other pancreatic cancer advocates from across the country June 14 for a national call-in to Congress asking that our representatives co-sponsor the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act. Go to www.knowitfightiten dit.org to learn more.
Together, we can make a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Inez Lobato-Winter, Pagosa Springs