‘Jeopardy!’ fans and even those who aren’t hooked on the game show are saddened by the death of TV personality Alex Trebek, who showed grace and courage as he fought pancreatic cancer, a disease that, unfortunately, is on the rise in the U.S.

 Adult and child holding a purple ribbon
Adult and child holding a purple ribbon

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is one advocacy organization working to raise awareness and money for research.  The Sacramento chapter of the group is holding a virtual fundraising walk on Nov. 14. Richard Bold, physician-in-chief of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center will give opening remarks for the event.

“Pancreatic cancer is not taking a break for COVID,” said Bold. “As you know, pancreatic cancer is one of the toughest cancers to treat, but we must help pancreatic cancer patients beat the odds, and I’m confident we’ll make progress.”

PANCAN is an advocacy organization dedicated to raising money for research, fostering education and giving patients hope.

Making progress in the fight against pancreatic cancer

The UC Davis pancreatic cancer program utilizes a full team of professionals and revolutionary techniques to treat patients and relieve them of their symptoms.

Patients are carefully evaluated using advanced imaging methods to characterize their disease and facilitate optimal treatment planning, which can include chemotherapy and radiation. The surgical approach can be either laparoscopic, using several small incisions, or the traditional open approach. Surgical therapy is directed at removing all tumors when feasible, excising just the tumor to a more radical surgery called the “Whipple procedure.”

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month—an opportunity to shine a light on the deadly disease and invite the public to get involved. Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers but is the third leading cause of cancer death.

“We must make progress in fighting this disease. Let’s renew those efforts during pancreatic cancer awareness month,” added Bold.

The American Cancer Society says the average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 64, but each person’s chance of getting the disease is affected by personal risk factors. It is slightly more common in men than women.

Go to PurpleStride to find out how to get involved this year or to donate. You can also follow PanCAN on Facebook to keep connected to others in our community who are dedicated to making a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.