Cleveland mom with pancreatic cancer 'beats the odds,' explains why clinical trials save lives

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - January is Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials Awareness Month.

When Connie Waxman was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, she considered a clinical trial as a treatment option.

At the time, she was told she had less than a year to live. However, Connie is a small percentage of people who go from shock to survival.

Only about 9 percent of patients live five years after being diagnosed with the disease, but Connie is still here today thanks in part to a clinical trial.

Doctors stress that every cancer treatment available today was approved through a clinical trial.

A new report released by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network estimates that 55,440 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and that 44,330 will die from the disease.

"That's 152 mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, colleagues and friends who will hear the news every day in 2018, 'You have pancreatic cancer,'" said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). "Our goal is that the doctor will then say, 'And here are your options.'"

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