Health Plus: Pancreatic Cancer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Pancreatic Cancer

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With cancer cure rates on the rise, it's sad to think only about 5-percent of pancreatic cancer patients will live five years after diagnosis.  In Health Plus, we hear from a local woman who lost her sister to the deadly disease.

"Maggie meant the world to a lot of people and I don't want her death to be just another statistic. People need to know about pancreatic cancer."

Bridget Frank recalls the younger sister she lost three years ago this week.

At 47, Maggie Moser was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

"It was apparent that she had a large tumor that was causing symptoms. She was treated aggressively with chemotherapy and radiation and did benefit from that. Unfortunately, later the cancer reoccurred in the pelvis and caused other difficulties," Dr. Anthony Leo with Mercy Hospital in Oelwein.

Only 19 months after finding out she had stage 3 pancreatic cancer, the Oelwein wife and mother died.

Her sister Bridget wants congress to boost pancreatic research funding since she says only about 2 percent of the budget goes toward this type.

"The problem with pancreatic cancer because there's no definitive screening tool, like I say, by the time it's diagnosed it's already spread," says Bridget.

Maggie's only child, Shianne, turns 16 next week.

"Her daughter and my daughter are classmates at school. And it's one of the things you see in a small community. The impact disease has on families and those who care about people," says Dr. Leo.

Bridget is grateful Leo consulted cancer experts across the country to insure Maggie had the best possible outcome pain-free.

"I was more angry than she was and I even asked her, 'Why aren't you saying why me?' and she said, 'Why not me?' that's just the way Maggie was."

For more information about pancreatic cancer, its signs and symptoms, go to this website:

www.pancan.org

The group was a huge help for Maggie and her family.

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