The country singer, songwriter Gavin DeGraw has released a video to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer as part of an on-going campaign by the Lustgarten Foundation, reports PR Newswire.
In the video the Lustgarten Foundation released, DeGraw talks about his experience of pancreatic cancer following his mother’s diagnosis. “It came so far out of left field” he says, describing how she had been declared very healthy by doctors one year before the diagnosis of stage four cancer came. He talks about how the Lustgarten Foundation provided support for him, and encourages people to become involved with it. He says,
“My mother didn’t make it and unfortunately right now that’s a common story. But it doesn’t have to be the story permanently.”
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive form of cancer caused by uncontrolled cell growth in the pancreas. Approximately 340,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. The symptoms include weight loss, jaundice, and stomach or back pain, but these only appear at a late stage. There are not usually any symptoms at all in earlier stages, which makes the disease very hard to identify. As a result most patients are only diagnosed at a later stage when the tumour has grown much larger and/or spread, making it more difficult to treat. Partly because of this, pancreatic cancer has a low survival rate, with most people passing away within a year of their diagnosis, and only 7% of patients surviving for five years. More funding and support is urgently needed to combat this deadly disease.