FOX 47 - Health News
MADISON (WMSN) -- Until the late actor Patrick Swayze - pancreatic cancer awareness seemed under the radar.
It's the fourth deadliest type of cancer, mainly because there are little symptoms before diagnosis.
Recently - the FDA approved two new drugs to help treat one form of the disease.
"Pancreatic cancer in general does not have many survivors so its been a cancer without a voice," said Dr. Noelle LoConte, UW Medical Oncologist.
It's one of the few cancers where the survival rate hasn't improved in more than 30 years.
Dr. Noelle LoConte says there may be hope after the FDA approved two new drugs to treat pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, the part of the pancreas that secretes hormones.
The first is called Sutent (sunitinib).
"That drug works by impairing the cells from growing their own blood supply its a pill and helped shrink cancer and live long. The other drug is called Afinitor (everolimus). That drug basically impairs the way the cancer cells grow and survive," said Dr. LoConte.
"It gives people that opportunity to fight," said Tammy Andries, cancer survivor.
Tammy Andries is a 5 1/2 year survivor of the disease.
After experiencing kidney stones and back pain, doctors discovered she had a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, the same size as a grapefruit.
"Surgery was the only option I had available at that time. There's at least another option, out there it gives them hope it gives them a second chance at life," said Andries.
Doctor LoConte says the other, more deadly form of pancreatic cancer, called adenocarcinoma, still has no available treatment.
"Pancreas adenocarcinoma is a much more lethal type of cancer majority of patients who are diagnosed ultimately dies of the disease even if we catch it early enough to do surgery," said Dr. LoConte.
This is why Tammy and other members of the Madison Affiliate of the National Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will head to Washington June 14th to fight for more federal funding.
"Asking congress to approve increases to the budget and by extension national cancer institutes budget it is a big priority," said Barbara Karlen, Advocacy Coordinator.
Something Tammy hopes will happen, so there will be more survival stories like hers.
"Now my kids are 12, 14 and 10 and I've been able to see some of their milestones," said Tammy.
To find out how you can get involved in the Madison Affiliate of the National Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, click here.
Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!
Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)
|The hair dye allergy you should know about|
Not a natural blonde or brunette? You might want to be more cautious about coloring your hair.
|Cheers! Hospital in France opens wine bar for patients|
A hospital in Puy de Dôme, France has opened a wine bar inside its facility in an attempt to improve the lives of terminally ill patients, The Local reported
|Destigmatizing mental disorders key to teen suicide prevention, says advocate mom|
Following a devastating tragedy, one family turned their grief into outreach for young adults with mental illness. Their organization, Attitudes in Reverse (AIR), is one of the only organizations in the U.S. that focuses on educating this at-risk demographic.
|Colorado considers a new look for edible pot|
Edible marijuana comes with all kinds of warning labels in Colorado. But once those pot brownies and gummy bears are out of the package, they can look identical to straight-laced treats
|Smoking linked to risk, progression of macular degeneration|
People who smoke, or have smoked a large number of cigarettes over time, are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration or to have it worsen sooner, according to a long-term study
Tonight on FOX 47
5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Big Bang Theory
7:00pm Masterchef (Encore)
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Two and a Half Men
10:35pm Everybody Loves Raymond
11:05pm The Arsenio Hall Show