LETTER: Pancreatic Cancer Claims Sally Ride

Yet another great American dies from the dreaded disease. When will a cure be found?

To the Editor:

I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Sally Ride, the
first American woman in space, who lost her 17-month battle with
pancreatic cancer. She had an inspiring, accomplished career and is an
icon in our nation’s history.

Tragically, for those who have been touched by pancreatic cancer,
17-months is an exception, as 74 percent of patients die within the
first year of diagnosis. Perhaps what is worse is that pancreatic
cancer is one of the few cancers for which the relative five year
survival rate, of just six percent, has not improved substantially in
over 40 years since the passage of the National Cancer Act.  I lost my
father to pancreatic cancer 10 years ago. As someone who regularly
went for physicals, my father was blindsided by this disease that has
no early detection method.

We need Congress to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education
Act (S. 362/H.R. 733) which would put a long-term comprehensive
strategic research plan in place that would help develop effective
treatment options that would ultimately give those diagnosed with
pancreatic cancer a fighting chance. The bill is currently being
debated and has strong bi-partisan support in Congress, in fact, with
nearly 60 Senate co-sponsors and over 270 House co-sponsors, the bill
has more bi-partisan support than the overwhelming majority of bills
currently under consideration.

I hope all those inspired by Sally Ride will honor her memory by
joining the fight against pancreatic cancer.  To learn more, visit
www.pancan.org.  Together we can know, fight and end this deadly

Todd Cohen
Edison, NJ

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