If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you may feel overwhelmed. Because the symptoms are difficult to detect, doctors rarely diagnose the disease before it has reached an advanced stage. But you are not alone or powerless. New medical treatments and a wealth of emotional and financial resources are available to help in the battle against pancreatic cancer.
Recently, there have been encouraging advances in pancreatic cancer research. Standing up for the cause to support those affected or taking part in some of the trials if you are a cancer patient puts hope on the horizon. You may significantly benefit from a trial, while your participation sustains progress in scientific breakthroughs.
Crowdfunding provides you with the opportunity to raise money for research or to cover treatment costs and other expenses. By creating a pancreatic cancer research fund, you can contribute to medical advances that will improve the outlook for yourself and the roughly 48,690 adults who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, according to Cancer.net.
Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in Seattle, a premier player in pancreatic cancer research, is making significant strides in promising new treatments. One of its latest trials, spearheaded by Dr. Sunil R. Hingorani, a medical oncologist dedicated to developing new early detection and treatment strategies for the disease, doubles progression-free survival in some patients. The third phase of the trail, which combines chemotherapy with an experimental enzyme called PEGPH20, is scheduled to begin early next year.
Resources for Patients
If you’ve just received a cancer diagnosis, know there are many resources available to help you face the disease head-on. While the revelation can be devastating, once you’ve had time to process your diagnosis, consider looking for information and services that will help you cope. Your doctor and your family and friends are there to help, but you can also access resources online.
1. Consider counseling. Many websites have a hotline you can call for support, information or just a friendly voice. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network lists its hotline number on its homepage. Look for support groups in your area or consider therapy to help process your feelings.
2. Share your diagnosis with loved ones. Some patients find it difficult to talk to family and friends about their diagnosis. If you are dreading this conversation, you may appreciate the American Cancer Society’s page devoted to telling loved ones. You may also want to direct your family and others in your support system to online resources. If your cancer is advanced, consider the National Cancer Institute’s guide.
3. Take advantage of clinical trials. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network highly recommends looking to clinical trails for treatment. It is vital to advancing treatment. Its website has a listing of trails currently taking place and offers a service to help place patients in trials.
4. Look for financial assistance through crowdfunding and other resources. If you’re worried about paying for your treatment, crowdfunding can help. By starting an online fundraiser, you can rally the support of family, friends and others to defray the costs and provide encouragement during your treatment. You can also consult the Lustgarten Foundation’s patient medical expenses page. It contains a list of programs and organizations that specifically help pancreatic cancer patients who cannot afford their treatment.
Fundraise for Breakthroughs
Crowdfunding for pancreatic cancer research can truly make a difference for those battling the disease, the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., according to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. By fundraising for the cause, you can help improve survival rates and impact the lives of loved ones and thousands of others facing pancreatic cancer. Emphasize to supporters that each donation they make could truly save lives. Funding research for this type of cancer is incredibly important in order to catch up with the medical advances elsewhere in the scientific community and get that much closer to a cure.
1. What is the current status of research? According to the American Cancer Society, the major focus of research has been finding better treatments for the disease by improving upon existing surgical procedures as well as radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Some researchers are also looking at targeted therapies that have made their way into clinical trials.
2. You can raise money for many different organizations. If you want to benefit research, look into institutions such as the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the Lustgarten Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund and the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, among many other worthy causes.
3. As part of your campaign, host an event or online initiative that supports patients and benefits research. If you were considering hosting a bake sale to complement your online fundraiser, for example, donate some of the goods that weren’t purchased to a local hospital or a family you know that is dealing with pancreatic cancer. Another great idea is to ask those attending your event to bring handwritten cards offering words of encouragement for cancer patients or artistic cards made by their children. You can deliver them to a local hospital after the event. Or ask donors to post inspirational messages for patients on your crowdfunding campaign comment section, then make artsy cards with the list of messages and deliver them to a local hospital.
4. Focus on raising awareness for pancreatic cancer during your campaign. You can pass out purple ribbons representing pancreatic cancer awareness during events you hold. You can also offer a quick workshop on early cancer detection at your office or school. Knowing symptoms and warning signs is one of the best ways to improve survival rates of the disease. A recent Huffington Post article details the most common symptoms, as well as risk factors and lifestyle changes that may affect the health of your pancreas.
Whether you’re a pancreatic cancer patient or an individual wishing to fund hope for new treatments that can lead to a cure, get started with a free fundraiser today.