On Saturday afternoon a very interesting tweet scrolled through my timeline." I am hosting the 2nd annual Lustgarten Foudation NYC Pancreatic Cancer Walk at Hudson River Park tmrw May 6th." via @MichaelEaly. Now, most should be familiar with this handsome, but humble, crystal blue eyed actor. He has starred in such films as Barbershop & Barbershop 2, Sleeper Cell, Takers, Miracle at St. Anna and Think Like a Man. He is currently enjoying a successful ride as "Think Like a Man" has been the NUMBER ONE film for two weeks. His performance also caused a barrage of marriage and indecent proposals on twitter! Lol. Promoting his new television series "Common Law" which will premiere on USA this Friday, Mr. Ealy is a busy individual. Most celebrities rarely take time from their busy schedules to promote and host such a beneficial cause. So when I read the tweet, I thought, "How noble of him!" Then instantly, a thousand other questions began to formulate in my thinking space.
As a science teacher, a familiarity with pancreatic cancer is within me. However, I have so many other questions. What causes the disease? Are there any symptoms? Who gets pancreatic cancer? How is it diagnosed? Is it preventable or treatable? With so many questions, there was only one answer. GOOGLE.
I abhor not having a complete understanding of any scientific matter. Being the nerd that I am, researching this disease was a MUST!
According to WebMD, "Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas produces digestive juices and hormones that regulate blood sugar. Cells called exocrine pancreas cells produce the digestive juices, while cells called endocrine pancreas cells produce the hormones." This organ is also the sight of diabetes, which is known to plague the African American community at an ALARMING RATE! But, health disparities within the African American community is another blog in itself.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include jaundice, pain localized to the location of the pancreas, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite and depression. Have you noticed that depression is linked to numerous diseases as a symptom? Hmmm, could that be a dissertation topic?! Anyways, its diagnosed by physical examinations and other special exams like CT scans, MRIs, and biopsy. Some of these tests can be pretty invasive. There are various treatments for pancreatic cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. As I continued to read, I stumbled upon heartbreaking news. The American Cancer Society reports that only about 23% of patients with cancer of the exocrine pancreas are still living one year after diagnosis. Only about 4% are still living five years after being diagnosed. Which ensures me that early detection is the key to survival. Being aware of changes within your body, eating healthy, exercising and seeing a physician regularly is ESSENTIAL for good health. For more information on pancreatic cancer please visit www.curepc.org.
I am extremely grateful for celebrities that use their voices to make a positive impact on the world. He inspired me to research the disease; which inspired me to author this blog. By sharing this information, maybe someone will benefit as well. I wish more celebrities would comprehend the profound impact they have on society and make a difference as well! Michael Ealy, Ms. Jones gives you an "A+" for your work today.
Check out some pictures I saw on twitter today!! Thank you for sharing your pictures on Twitter: @AceLadyMcQueen @kgot_it @SteffUghhKnee and @MichaelEaly