WMSN FOX 47
 

FOX 47 - Health News

Wednesday, June 8 2011, 10:45 PM CDT

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.

FDA approves 2 drugs to treat pancreatic cancer

Video List

Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!

Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)

Peanuts may lower risk of death from heart disease
Peanuts may reduce the risk of death from heart disease, a large study found, suggesting that the health benefits of this low-cost nut may be similar to pricier options like almonds and pistachios.

Guinea says Ebola patients sent home after botched blood tests
Health officials botched more than 20 Ebola blood tests in January and February which led to the release of at least four positive patients, two of whom later died, Guinea's anti-Ebola coordinator and other health officials told Reuters.

'Love' hormone sobers up drunken rats, researchers find
A little injection of the so-called 'love' hormone, oxytocin, can sober up drunken rats, reversing their clumsy alcohol-induced behaviors, scientists report.

South Carolina family defends toddler cyberbullied for rare medical condition
The family of a 2-year-old girl with a rare genetic condition is speaking out against Internet trolls who began mocking her appearance in a Facebook photo, MyFox8.com reported.

9-year-old girl with genetic disorder thrives on donated breast milk
Annabel Shelander sat quietly in her sister’s lap, watching an episode of “Barney” on an iPad while a nurse funneled a cloudy white liquid into her stomach.

Advertise with us!

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 Gotham
8:00pm The Following (Season Premiere)
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm Mike & Molly
11:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:35pm The Simpsons
12:05am Community


Complete FOX 47 Schedule

To FOX.com

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix