Middlesex County Public Health Department
Press Release


For immediate release by: 
David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer 
Middlesex County Public Health Department 
May 21, 2009 

John Dowd, HERC
Middlesex County Public Health Department


Middlesex County Public Health Department
Sponsors Pancreatic Cancer Walk


            The Middlesex County Public Health Department is sponsoring a walk to raise awareness about cancer of the pancreas. This free family event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 6 at Middlesex County College in Edison. 

            Freeholder Ronald G. Rios, Chairman of the County’s Public Health and Education Committee, stated: "I have a particular interest in conquering this disease because I lost my mom in 1995 to pancreatic cancer and saw first-hand how it affects the patient and their loved ones. I urge residents to talk to their doctor about this disease. Ask him or her about testing for cancer of the pancreas. Education and early prevention are always the keys to healthy living. Come out to the walk on June 6, call the Public Health Department, or see your doctor. It may save a life.”

            Registration is free but donations are encouraged.  Proceeds will benefit pancreatic cancer research at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Interested walkers can register by visiting the Cancer Institute of New Jersey web site at http://www.cinjfoundation.org or by contacting Padma Arvind at 732-745-3140.

            Participants will receive a T-shirt, grocery bag and fruit and water.  Public Health partners such as: Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, South Asian Total Health Initiative, and John F. Kennedy Hospital will also provide health education materials.
            According to the National Cancer Institute,pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in more than 29,000 Americans every year. In Middlesex County, statistics from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services indicate that from 2001 to 2005, there were 450 cases of pancreatic cancer, and 83 percent died from the disease.

            Risk factors that affect cancer of the pancreas include: age; gender; race, smoking; diet; obesity and lack of exercise; diabetes; long term inflammation of the pancreas; cirrhosis of the liver; working with pesticides, dyes, and chemicals; family history; gene changes; and having too much stomach acid or having the bacteria H. pylori.

            David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer of the Middlesex County Public Health Department, said: “You can reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer by avoiding smoking; people who smoke increase their risk of this cancer by two to three times.  It is also important to maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise more, manage your diabetes, know your family history, and maintain annual check-ups with your doctor.”

            Signs and symptoms of cancer of the pancreas include: pain in the upper stomach or upper back; yellow skin, eyes, and dark urine (jaundice); feeling weak; loss of appetite; nausea; vomiting; and rapid weight loss.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor.  Symptoms may or may not be a sign of pancreatic cancer.  If you have these symptoms and a family history of pancreatic and/or ovarian cancers, you are at higher risk; share this information with your doctor. 

            For additional information about cancer of the pancreas or other cancers please visit the following web sites: