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The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is Saddened by the Death of NFL Hall of Fame Member Gene Upshaw
Date:8/21/2008

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (http://www.pancan.org), the only national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure, is saddened by the loss of NFL Hall of Fame member Gene Upshaw.

"The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network offers its condolences to the Upshaw family and the entire NFL community," said Julie Fleshman, President and CEO. "I know personally the affects this disease has on a family and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time."

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, yet is the most under-funded among leading cancer killers with less than 2% of the National Cancer Institutes annual research budget-a figure far to low given the severity of the disease. The incidence among African- American's is 50-90% higher than any other ethnic group in the United States.

"Upshaw's diagnosis and passing reinforces the fact that something must be done to give pancreatic cancer patients a fighting chance," added Fleshman. "We urgently need the funding to find early detection methods, diagnostic tools and ultimately a cure for this disease, which will claim 75% of patients diagnosed this year."

To address this disparity the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network launched Raise the Cure, an unprecedented initiative that combines a commitment to raise $25 million in private funding with a call for the federal government to devote more attention and resources to finding a cure and treatments for pancreatic cancer. The federal component of the plan, called The National Plan to Advance Pancreatic Cancer Research, was developed by the organization's esteemed Scientific Advisory Board, and is a detailed blueprint of the research and federal resources required to make true inroads in this disease.

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SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
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