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"I didn't expect to survive," said Mary Maddox.
But she did, seven years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with the survival rate under ten percent," said Dr. Berlin.
That's exactly why Dr. Jordan Berlin, an Oncologist at Vanderbilt Ingram cancer center, calls Mary a miracle. The pancreas is an organ, shaped like a fish that creates enzymes for digestion and hormones like insulin. It's tucked way behind many organs and sandwiched between the spine and stomach. A tumor can be hard to find.
"Pancreatic cancers are very hard to see on all of our scans cat scans, MIR’s, pet scans," added Dr. Berlin.
Dr. Berlin says pancreatic cancer symptoms are not specific either.
"The one thing that becomes specific is a lot patients can develop jaundice," said Dr. Berlin
"I turned yellow first," exclaimed Maddox.
And that is what saved Mary’s life. Developing jaundice and then having the surgical procedure called "the whipple effect" where the head of the pancreas is removed, but the body and tail is kept. It is a complicated and risky procedure, but it worked for Mary whose mother died of pancreatic cancer.
"It was a miracle mine was diagnosed early," said Maddox.
Dr. Berlin says more and more people are being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer because everyone is living longer.
"Pancreatic cancer increases as you age, so you have an increased risk as you get older," said Dr. Berlin.
That is why Mary is proudly wearing her purple and to get the word out.
"Pancreatic cancer doesn't get research doesn't get all the funding the other cancers do it's not as a well-known although it is rising in the ranks," said Maddox.
Many risk factors can lead to pancreatic cancer like smoking, obesity, and diets heavy in fats and rich in sugars. In fact, a recent study says eating a piece of sausage or having two strips of bacon "every day" can increase your chances of getting pancreatic cancer by 19-percent.
Monday, December 17 2012, 09:09 PM CST
Body found in Percy Priest Lake
May 25, 2013 20:14 GMT
SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) -- Authorities say a body has been found in Percy Priest Lake in Middle Tennessee.
WSMV-TV (http://bit.ly/16gYKys) reports officials with Metro Police, the Office of Emergency Management and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency were at the scene Saturday at Hole In The Wall Island. The body was reported to authorities about 11 a.m.
TWRA officials say they believe the deceased man is a boater who disappeared in the lake two weeks ago.
Police said the agencies coordinated with each other to get a boat in the water and recover the body.
Information from: WSMV-TV, http://www.wsmv.com/
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
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BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
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