Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District spoke on the House floor today in recognition of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and the importance of funding medical research that is essential to fighting the disease.
Below are his remarks as delivered.
“Mr. Speaker, November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, when we bring awareness to a disease that takes the lives of too many men and women. Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the ninth in women, but it’s the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Sadly, it is estimated this year that 73 percent of patients with this disease will die within the first year of diagnosis.
“While these statistics are daunting, I believe that Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is a time for hope. It is a time when we stand up and call attention to this disease, when we call for more research to better find methods of early detection. It is a time to share the stories of those we have lost in the hope that they will help spur action and move us closer to more effective treatments.
“Mr. Speaker, pancreatic cancer patients and their families are among the countless Americans demanding that we fix sequestration that has reduced funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute and held back progress toward live-saving medical research.
“It is critical that we work together to fight this terrible disease.”