Franklin died from a form of pancreatic cancer known as pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer (pancreatic NETs or PNETs), which account for about six percent of all pancreatic tumors. They develop from the abnormal growth of endocrine (hormone-producing) cells in the pancreas called islet cells. This is why these tumors are sometimes referred to as “islet cell tumors.”
Also important to note, African-Americans have the highest incidence rate of pancreatic cancer, between 28 percent and 59 percent higher than the incidence rates for other racial/ethnic groups.
“We mourn the loss of a legend and urge the public to take action against pancreatic cancer,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). “We are working diligently to change outcomes for patients but we need more people to get involved and help fund critical research.”
Franklin joins a growing list of other notable public figures, actors and musicians who’ve passed away from pancreatic cancer. Just this year, the disease has claimed the lives of Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson music dynasty, as well as “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” actress Charlotte Rae.
PanCAN has an urgent goal to improve outcomes for patients battling the disease today and double survival by 2020. The organization attacks pancreatic cancer using a comprehensive approach focused on research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocacy.
About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. In our urgent mission to save lives, we attack pancreatic cancer on all fronts: research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocacy. Our effort is amplified by a nationwide network of grassroots support. We are determined to improve patient outcomes today and to double survival by 2020.
Media Relations Manager
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
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