Saturday, October 19
The Forever Young Walk/Run for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness and Research brings together supporters of a remarkable family while raising money and awareness for an honorable cause!
All are welcome to join us as the Maryland men's lacrosse family continues the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Forever YoungThe story of Maria Young's Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer
In 2008 Maria Young – Mother to Michael (Duke), Kevin (Duke) and Ryan (University of Maryland) went to the doctors for severe stomach pains. At that time, they did a sonogram at New York Presbyterian Hospital and determined that she had a tumor on her pancreas. She had an eight-hour surgery called the Whipple and one week later began chemotherapy and radiation. The treatment was successful and for two years she was cancer free.
Unfortunately, in January of 2010, Maria learned that the pancreatic cancer had metastasized to her lungs and was considered Stage IV. Although she began undergoing extensive treatment at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she continued to make the taxing trips to Durham, N.C., and College Park, Md., to support her children and their respective lacrosse programs. When she became too ill and hospitalized with complications to her heart, her children began traveling back home to spend time with their mother. Sadly, Maria Young lost her battle with cancer on Sunday, April 17, 2011.
The Forever Young Pancreatic Walk/Run is dedicated to Maria Young, a loving and devoted mother, who wanted to share her story in the hope that others would be helped if they or someone in their family had to battle cancer, whether pancreatic or otherwise.
Facts About Pancreatic Cancer:
How many people get pancreatic cancer?
Rates of pancreatic cancer have been slowly going up over the past 10 years.
The lifetime risk of having pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 78. It is about the same for both men and women. A person’s risk may be changed by certain risk factors.What are the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?
We still do not know exactly what causes most cases of pancreatic cancer. But some risk factors have been linked to the disease. A risk factor is something that affects a person’s chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person's age or race, can’t be changed.
Recent research has shown that some of these risk factors affect the DNA of cells in the pancreas, which can lead to abnormal cell growth and may cause tumors to form. DNA is the substance in each cell that carries our genes — the instructions for how our cells work.
But risk factors don’t tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even several risk factors, does not mean that you will get the disease. And some people who get the disease do not have any known risk factors.Risk factors for pancreatic cancer:
Age: The risk of this cancer goes up as people age. Almost all patients are older than 45, and almost 7 in 10 are at least 65 years old. The average age at the time the cancer is found is 71.
Gender: Men are 30% more likely to get this cancer than women. This may be due, at least in part, to higher tobacco use in men.
Race: African Americans are more likely to have this cancer than are whites.
Smoking: The risk of getting cancer of the pancreas is at least twice as high in smokers compared to those who never smoked. Cigar and pipe smoking also increase risk. Quitting smoking helps lower risk – 10 years after quitting, former smokers have the same risk as those who never smoked. People who use smokeless tobacco are also more likely to get pancreatic cancer.
Obesity: Very overweight (obese) people are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
Diabetes: Pancreatic cancer is more common in people with this disease. Most of the risk is found in people with type 2 diabetes. The reason for this is not known. In some patients, the cancer seems to have caused the diabetes (not the other way around).
Chronic pancreatitis: This is a long-term inflammation of the pancreas. It is linked with a slightly higher risk of pancreatic cancer, but most people with this condition do not get pancreatic cancer. A small number of cases of chronic pancreatitis appear to be due to a gene mutation (defect). People with this form of chronic pancreatitis seem to have a high lifetime risk for getting pancreatic cancer.
Cirrhosis of the liver: Cirrhosis is a scarring of the liver. It happens in people with liver damage from things like hepatitis and alcohol use. People with cirrhosis seem to have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
Work exposure: Heavy exposure at work to certain pesticides, dyes, and chemicals may increase the risk of getting cancer of the pancreas.
Family history: Cancer of the pancreas seems to run in some families. In some of these families, the high risk is due to a gene change (see below). In other families, the gene causing the higher risk of pancreatic cancer is not known.
Gene changes: Inherited gene changes (mutations) are abnormal copies of certain genes that can be passed from parent to child. These changed genes may cause pancreatic cancers and can cause other problems, too. Some of the genes that cause these problems have been found by scientists and can be recognized by genetic testing.
Stomach problems: Having too much stomach acid or having bacteria called H. pylori in the stomach may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Alcohol: Some studies have shown a link between heavy alcohol use and pancreatic cancer.Can pancreatic cancer be prevented?
There is no sure way to prevent cancer of the pancreas at this time. For now, the best advice is to avoid smoking, the major risk factor that you can change. Tobacco use also increases the risk of many other cancers such as cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx (voice box), esophagus, kidney, bladder, and some other organs. If you smoke and want help quitting, please talk to your doctor or call the American Cancer Society.
Staying at a healthy weight, eating well, and exercising are also important. The American Cancer Society recommends choosing foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods. This includes eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits every day. Choosing whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals instead of refined grains, and eating fish, poultry, or beans instead of processed meat and red meat may also help lower your risk of cancer, as well as some other diseases.