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According to the proclamation signed by Governor Charlie Baker this week, an estimated 57,600 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2020. 47,050 will die from the disease this year. Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and it is projected to become the second leading cause. It is the only major cancer with a combined five-year relative survival rate in the single digits at just nine percent. Pancreatic cancer is the Seventh most common cause of cancer-related death in men and women across the world.

When symptoms of pancreatic cancer present themselves, it is generally late-stage, with the average patients living for about one year after diagnosis. Only 10 percent of patients with an early diagnosis become disease-free after treatment. Disparities by race and socioeconomic status exist in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Improved understanding of underlying causes could inform interventions.

Governor Baker acknowledged that the good health and well-being of the residents of the Commonwealth are enhanced as a direct result of increased awareness about pancreatic cancer and research into early detection, causes, and effective treatments.

November has officially been declared as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Baker urges all citizens of the Commonwealth to “take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.”