November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Pancreatic cancer has no screening tool. Often, it’s found while looking at something else in the body.
The hope is that it’s never been more treatable.
Dr. Thomas Chirichella said 20 percent of patients diagnosed with it would live for five years. Now, that number has jumped to 50 percent because of advances in radiation and chemotherapy.
Chirichella also performs the Whipple Procedure at Mercy Health downtown.
“The institution is taking the step forward and saying we want to take care of our patients here in the Mahoning Valley. It was just putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together with oncology, radiation, radiology and just having everyone on the same page and just saying ok we’re going to take care of these patients so they don’t have to leave town,” Chirichella said.
Dr. Chirichella says to see a doctor if you start losing weight with no diet changes, your sugars fluctuate or you turn yellow.
When you see a First News anchor wearing purple this month, it’s to remember former Meteorologist Don Guthrie who died from the disease.