Eshoo and Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Designate November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and Support Prevention Efforts

November 18, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo (CA- 18), André Carson (IN-07), David McKinley (WV-1) and Lisa McClain (MI-10) introduced a bipartisan resolution to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and to support the designation of this November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. This effort comes as the world continues to mourn the deaths of several iconic Americans from this very aggressive cancer, including Congressman John Lewis, Congressman Alcee Hastings, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Lawmakers hope this effort will raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, result in greater support for research funding from Congress, and ultimately help save lives. 

Accurately described as a silent killer, pancreatic cancer still does not have an early detection test. As a result, by year’s end, pancreatic cancer will have killed an estimated 48,220 Americans and is the third largest cause of cancer-related death in our county. In addition, an estimated 60,430 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. 

This resolution helps to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer by accomplishing three things:  

  • Supports the designation of “Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month”
  • Recognizes the critical importance of increasing funding for pancreatic cancer research at the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to find early detection tests and effective treatments to combat this disease and reduce the disproportionate impact on communities of color. 
  • Supports the efforts of the many advocacy organizations to educate our communities about pancreatic cancer and the need for more research funding, early detection initiatives, diagnostic tests, and effective treatments.

“I’m proud to join Reps. Carson, McKinley, and McClain in introducing this resolution to recognize November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month," said Rep. Eshoo. “Too many Americans have perished from pancreatic cancer, which is a death sentence with too few treatment options. This resolution is an important step in the fight to find a cure for this terrible disease.”

“I am honored to partner with my colleagues, Reps. Eshoo, McKinley, and McClain, to help support this November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month,” said Congressman Carson. “Our resolution helps strengthen the legacy of those we have lost, support people currently battling the disease, and spread awareness to prevent future loss of life. The resolution also helps highlight pancreatic cancer’s disproportionality deadly impact on communities of color. The incidence rate for pancreatic cancer among Black Americans is 20% higher than that of any other racial demographic, and the pancreatic cancer death rate is 17% higher for Black men than for white men. Greater research and awareness will go a long way in reducing this disparity and saving countless lives. I urge all my colleagues to support our resolution.”

“Enhancing awareness for Pancreatic Cancer continues to be an important priority as this disease is devastating to individuals and their families,” said Rep. McKinley. “This Resolution designates November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which will increase support for innovative pancreatic cancer research, treatment and efforts to revolutionize early detection initiatives, all of which are essential to combatting this deadly disease.”

Representative Lisa McClain added, “Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, and due to limited detection tools, a majority of the patients are diagnosed at a late stage, for which the survival rate falls to 3%. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this bipartisan resolution to bring continued awareness to this horrific disease and fight to find further treatments and save lives.”

“As the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., pancreatic cancer is a tough disease that often has vague symptoms and is diagnosed too late when tumors are inoperable. Raising awareness of the disease and the urgent need for research funding for early detection and better treatment options has never been more important,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). “We are very grateful to Representatives Carson, Eshoo, McKinley and McClain for designating November 2021 as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and helping us take steps to change patient outcomes for this disease.”

Earlier this year, Reps. Eshoo, Carson, and McKinley introduced an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 that would increase funding from $15 million to $20 million for pancreatic cancer research at the Department of Defense. The House has passed this amendment, and it’s awaiting passage by the S