House adopts Matzie resolution to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by state Rep. Rob Matzie that designates November 2016 as "Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

While pancreatic cancer only accounts for 3 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States, it is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death. The American Cancer Society estimates that 41,780 deaths and 53,070 new cases of pancreatic cancer are expected to occur in the United States in 2016.

"By the time an individual experiences symptoms from pancreatic cancer, it is often too late to do much about it, which is why awareness efforts like this one are so important," Matzie said. "This disease must be better understood and more resources must be made available to research it before it is defeated, and I am grateful to be a part of that effort."

Matzie noted that there is no cure for pancreatic cancer and there have been no significant improvements in early detection, treatment methods or survival rates in the last 25 years. The average life expectancy of those diagnosed with this type of cancer is only three to six months.

Matzie said his mother is a pancreatic cancer survivor who underwent treatment and surgery in 2014 and today remains cancer-free.