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.


64° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

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







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View healthbeat

You may also like

Enterovirus D68 Confirmed In SD

9/25/2014 11:37 AM

A respiratory virus affecting children in many areas of the country has now been confirmed in South Dakota.

Full Story
Living With ALS, Fighting Back

9/25/2014 6:00 PM

For many, it's typical to have dinner together. At the Carman house, you will not see one family member at the table.

Full Story | Watch
Race For The Cure Takes Over Downtown SF

9/28/2014 5:25 PM

Downtown Sioux Falls looked a little pink today as thousands joined together for the seventh Susan G. Komen South Dakota Race for the Cure.

Full Story
Flu Season Prediction

9/29/2014 6:30 PM

While doctors aren't sure exactly how severe this flu season will be, it typically peaks around February, but we could see cases anytime now.

Full Story | Watch
Officials Confirm First Ebola Case Diagnosed In US

9/30/2014 4:16 PM

Federal health officials have confirmed that a patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola.

Full Story


Events