COLUMBUS (WCMH) — This year, most events at Nationwide have been either canceled or gone virtual
This includes PanCAN Advocacy Day, which has transformed into a week-long event to help garner more support and funding for pancreatic cancer research. The event coincides with this week’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week, which runs through June 19.
“Usually, we’re asking for more federal funding for pancreatic cancer research,” said Columbus PanCAN Advocacy Chairperson Chenee Castruita. “Usually, when we go to D.C., we have a lot of survivors that go with us and they’re immune compromised, too. It’s just a bad idea right now to take that population out.”
“More people can actually participate from home because not everyone can take the trip to D.C. every year. Everyone is encouraged to call their congressional members. I think we’re going to get a lot more participation this year than normally.”
Castruita said the organization is always looking for more funding for pancreatic cancer research.
Compared to other research programs, pancreatic cancer has received lower federal funding and those types of grants are what researchers rely on right now.
Castruita said that because so many people die from this disease, advocating for funds is always difficult.
“Unfortunately, we just don’t have as many survivors because we don’t catch it as quickly, so when we do catch it, for most people, they’re stage four, so once we lose those survivors, it’s very difficult to push for advocacy,” said Castruita. “We’re really trying to find an early detection system. That would be best and then we can find a cure.”
It’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of this disease because when it’s found, it’s often spread to other parts of the body.
According to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer can vary, based on the type and stage of cancer. Some include:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Light-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Pain in the upper or middle abdomen and back
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling very tired
For more on PANCan and Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Week, click here.