Reps. Carson, Eshoo and Senator Whitehouse Introduce Bicameral Resolution to Raise Pancreatic Cancer Awareness and Support Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month for November 2020
Washington, DC – Representatives André Carson (IN-07) and Anna Eshoo (CA- 18), introduced a resolution today to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and to support the designation of this November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also introduced a companion resolution in the Senate. This effort comes as the world continues to mourn the deaths of several iconic Americans from this very aggressive cancer, including Congressman John Lewis and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Reps Carson and Eshoo, and Senator Whitehouse, hope that this effort will raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, result in greater research funding support 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 47,050 Americans and is the third largest cause of cancer-related death in our county. As COVID-19 continues to rob us of more than 220,000 of our fellow Americans, pancreatic cancer continues to devastate thousands of American families and communities. An additional 57,600 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 am honored to partner with my colleague, Rep. Eshoo in the House, and Senator Whitehouse in the Senate, to help support this November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month,” Congressman Carson said. “We have lost so many of our fellow Americans to this disease, and we need to take bold action to honor them and prevent future loss of life. This 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. More awareness and research into this deadly disease can help reduce this disparity and save countless lives. I urge all my colleagues in both the House and Senate to support our resolution.”
“I’m proud to join Congressman Carson and Senator Whitehouse in introducing this resolution to support November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month after we successfully worked together to increase federal funding for pancreatic cancer research earlier this year,” Rep. Eshoo said. “Our work must continue for the thousands of Americans suffering from pancreatic cancer as well as those who lost their lives to it.”
“I’m proud to join Representatives Eshoo and Carson to designate November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and to recognize the Rhode Islanders battling this heartbreaking disease,” said Senator Whitehouse. “This November, I hope people across the country will join the fight to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.”
Diane Borrison of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and a fourteen-year survivor and Silicon Valley affiliate volunteer, also added: “As a 14-year survivor of pancreatic cancer, many thousands of Americans have perished from this terrible cancer since my diagnosis. I am grateful to Representatives Carson and Eshoo and Senator Whitehouse for this resolution, designating November 2020 as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, as a means of raising awareness about the disease and the urgent need for additional research funding. The passing of Congressman John Lewis and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought this need into sharp focus. No early detection methods, too few treatment options, and for too many – no hope. We must do better. Designating November 2020 as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is an important step in the right direction.”
Earlier this year, Reps. Carson and Eshoo introduced an amendment that would invest an additional $15 million in funding for pancreatic cancer research at the Department of Defense. The House has passed this amendment, and the two lawmakers continue to urge the Senate to also vote in favor of this lifesaving measure.
This resolution also had the following original cosponsors:
Rep. Cynthia Axne
Rep. Nanette Barragan
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Rep. Danny K. Davis
Rep. G. K. Butterfield
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. Gwen Moore
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
Rep. Bobby Rush