User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


31° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Healthbeat

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Combating Pancreatic Cancer

June 2, 2014, 6:15 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Combating Pancreatic Cancer

Fewer people are expected to die over the next 20 years from breast, prostate and colon cancer. But health experts believe more people will die from pancreatic cancer over the next two decades. New figures shows pancreatic cancer is expected to be one of the top cancer killers in the country by 2030.

Many parents dream of watching their children graduate from college. This spring, Valerie Merry wasn't sure she could keep that promise to her daughter.

"I promised her I would make it to graduation," Valerie Merry said. "I was sick that morning, and it was a tough trip." 

Doctors diagnosed Merry with pancreatic cancer in February. At first, she thought she had a bladder or kidney infection.

"I just felt like I had the flu except it wasn't going away. I probably had it for a couple weeks," Merry said. "Then I became jaundiced, and at that point we knew something was up," Merry said.

Since then, Merry has had four surgeries and is undergoing chemotherapy. She's spent nearly a month in the hospital.

"It's very difficult. It's evil, wicked stuff," Merry said.

But Merry was actually lucky compared to many pancreatic cancer patients. Some of them aren't even able to undergo surgery because the cancer has spread so much.

"The problem is we find it late most of the time. There isn't a screening test that's approved for the general population to find it early on," Avera Medical Group Oncologist Dr. Heidi McKean said.

Dr. Heidi McKean also says many patients don't have symptoms until the cancer has already spread to another organ.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can also be very subtle and may include abdominal or back pain, dark urine, weight loss or jaundice.

"We need to find it earlier. We need to have better treatments. The treatments for pancreatic cancer haven't changes a lot for a while," McKean said.

McKean is optimistic about Merry's cancer fight. She made it to her daughter's graduation in Arizona last month, and hopes to make many more memories with her husband and two children.

"They're still young. They're 21 and 24, and I think they're just in the beginning of their grown-up years. I want to see them have families and kids. I want to raise those grandbabies with them," Merry said.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







Sponsored
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View healthbeat

You may also like

Local Blogger Gains National Attention

12/17/2014 6:17 PM

Ashley Ballou-Bonnema and her husband, Mark, try to live each day to the fullest.

Full Story | Watch
Signs of Strep Throat

12/16/2014 6:20 PM

KELOLAND clinics are filling up fast. It's the time of year where germs are spreading.

Full Story | Watch
Sneaky Symptoms Of Stress

12/15/2014 5:50 PM

We're less than two weeks away from Christmas. With the holidays in full swing, stress is common this time of year.

Full Story | Watch
Construction Begins On Affordable Clinic In SD

12/13/2014 5:10 PM

Construction has begun on a medical and dental care clinic that is expected to provide affordable services in western South Dakota.

Full Story
Health Officials Rate Flu Levels 'Sporadic' In SD

12/13/2014 12:59 PM

Health officials have rated the incidence of flu cases in South Dakota as "sporadic."

Full Story


Events