According to MedicineNet.com, the pancreas is a gland about 6 inches long that is shaped like a thin pear lying on its side. The wider end of the pancreas is called the head, the middle section is called the body, and the narrow end is called the tail. The pancreas lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine.
Urban radio personality, "Joe Joe Everything" Joe Robbins lost his mother to pancreatic cancer. He's now using his voice to tell people about the disease and the importance of early detection.
As of 2009, there were 42,470 people diagnosed and 35,240 people who died from Pancreatic Cancer in the United States.
Less than 5% of people who are diagnosed live more than 5 years once they have the disease.
His mother, Lenita Jean was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2007 and was only able to hang on for 2 short months before the inevitable end. She experienced excruciating pain and extreme weight loss. By May, according to Joe, that lovely, happy and wonderful woman had become so weak that she could barely make it to the bathroom without help and had resigned to staying in bed and on most days, without saying much to anyone. Once June came around, she seemed to only be a shell of who she was and had weakened to such an extent that standing even became a chore. She had lost her appetite completely and had almost stopped talking to us all together. On June 24th, Lenita Jean died. She was just 60 years old.
Joe started the Lenita Jean Foundation in hopes of raising awareness about the symtpoms for early diagnosis. Joe now spends much of his time, getting the word out about pancreatic cancer. When he's not doing interviews, he's participating in walks to raise money for a cure.
For more information on pancreatic cancer, click here.