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CHICAGO (WBBM) — Have you noticed the purple in Chicago’s skyline?
Newsradio 780′s Mike Krauser reports the purple lighting on many of the buildings is an effort to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer.
November is pancreatic cancer awareness month. It’s the disease that took the life of George “Papa Bear” Halas.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Mike Krauser Reports
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate of any cancer, says Dr. Mark Talamonti of Northshore University Health System.
“For breast cancer and prostate cancer, the five-year survival rate approaches 90 percent. For pancreatic cancer, the five-year survival rate is still about 6 percent.
“Really the story is in the statistics. It is a powerful story.”
National Cancer Institute statistics show there have been 43,140 new cancer case in 2010 and 36,800 have died from the disease this year. Most patients are over age 65.
The pancreas has two main jobs in the body: To produce juices that help digest food and produce hormones to control blood sugar.
Symptoms include: Jaundice, abdominal or back pain, weight loss and loss of appetite, and fatigue. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect and diagnose because there aren’t symptoms in the early stages, and many symptoms are similar to other diseases.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky is looking for more money for research.
“Behind every one of those numbers is a person and their family and their loved ones. It’s a very simple paradigm: invest more money in research, get better outcomes, save more lives.”
The Willis Tower, The Merchandise Mart, the Wrigley building and Trump Tower are all bathed in purple lights to put the spotlight on the disease.