Donate to Pancreatic Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education

Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive form of cancer that develops in the tissues of the pancreas. It is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that, in 2019 in the United States, 56,770 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and about 45,750 people will die from this form of cancer.

By making a generous donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of pancreatic cancer-related research and care at Northwestern Medicine, you will help to advance important studies that have the potential to lead to improved understanding and treatment of this particularly challenging type of cancer. With your support, the physicians and scientists at Northwestern Medicine will continue to earn distinction for the exceptional care that they provide to people affected by pancreatic cancer. devastating disease.

While the exact cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown, the disease appears to be related to mutations in DNA, either inherited or caused by lifestyle choices. Through your financial support of Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help Northwestern Medicine scientists to identify other factors that might increase a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Potential risk factors include:

  • Age, as most people are diagnosed after the age of 55
  • Smoking
  • Obesity and lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • A family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Workplace/environmental exposure to certain toxins

Although there is no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer, reducing risk factors is an excellent step to take. Early detection remains difficult–but, with your contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, physicians and scientists at Northwestern Medicine will be able to further enhance diagnostic and treatment methods for pancreatic cancer

Often called a “silent” disease, pancreatic cancer does not have many obvious symptoms until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. While the symptoms of pancreatic cancer may differ from person to person, some common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back
  • Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss
  • Blood clots
  • Jaundice, or yellowing, of the eyes, skin or nails
  • Extreme fatigue

A thorough and accurate cancer diagnosis by an experienced oncologist is the first step in developing an individualized pancreatic cancer treatment plan. When endeavoring to determine if a patient has pancreatic cancer, physicians at Northwestern Medicine perform a comprehensive array of tests, including ultrasound, computed tomography scan (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), x-ray, lab tests, laparoscopy and, if necessary, biopsy of lesions or growths. Your  contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will enable Northwestern Medicine’s team to find ways to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages, to diagnose it effectively, and, ultimately, to determine what causes this disease that still claims far too many lives.

Pancreatic Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Your generous donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help physicians and scientists at Northwestern Medicine to make significant breakthroughs that potentially will improve the health and extend the lives of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With your support, vital basic science research and clinical trials will continue to thrive and, ideally, will lead to new, effective treatment approaches for pancreatic cancer.

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