Changing the Pancreatic Cancer Narrative
Elvin Howard Sr. Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Foundation (Elvin Howard, Sr. PCAF) was founded in the Fall of 2016 after several months of meetings by its founding members Bertha Howard, RN, MSN, Sgt. Elvin Howard Jr., Dr. Monteic A. Sizer and Veronica Howard Sizer, Esq.
The foundation was formed in memory of Elvin Howard, Sr. a devoted husband, father, grandfather, family man and Christian. Elvin, Sr. presented with the classic signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer: lower back and stomach pains, rapid weight loss, late-onset diabetes and he was misdiagnosed and treated for several months for these individual issues. It was not until it was discovered that he was jaundice, which indicates the late stages of the disease, that he was finally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our Foundation was created to help those like Elvin Howard, Sr. to recognize the early signs of pancreatic cancer and be proactive with their health care in order to discover the disease early, when there are more options for successful treatment.
Elvin Howard, Sr. PCAF was formed to reduce pancreatic cancer deaths and family hardships by bringing awareness of pancreatic cancer by supporting research, pancreatic cancer survivors, their caregivers and families. In order to carry out this awareness mission, the Foundation presents two symposiums each year, in the Spring and Fall, as well as participate in various local community events at churches and health fairs. Awareness is especially important in communities of color, in that there is a 35% higher incident rate of pancreatic cancer among African Americans than whites. The Foundation also host an annual fundraiser the second Friday of each November to raise awareness and money for the organization.
In 2019, the Foundation supported legislation in Louisiana that will help make it possible for people battling metastatic cancer to gain access to the best pharmaceuticals and treatment options available as opposed to traditional step treatment options. This is a great victory for anyone fighting any form of cancer across Louisiana.
Elvin Howard, Sr. PCAF officially partnered with Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer, a nation online pancreatic cancer awareness platform, in order to help get cutting edge research and clinical trial information to our various partners and constituency. The Foundation is also a member of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC). As key allies of the WPCC, we bring greater awareness of the plight of people of color. Awareness and treatment options for African Americans and communities of color throughout the United States is critically important. Dr. Sizer, our national representative, leads our work with Let’s Win! and recently provided great insight and valuable information to WPCC in regard to their messaging and public awareness campaign. Dr. Sizer is also leading discussions on how we might partner with the GENERATE Study, a study funded by StandUp2Cancer and the Lustgarden Foundation. With our connection with these national and international organizations, Elvin Howard, Sr. PCAP hopes to better inform any who are interested on how to better understand and be effective with African Americans and communities of color when it comes to pancreatic cancer. Elvin Howard, Sr. PCAF also provide resources to support research and the development of early detection tools to detect and defeat pancreatic cancer.
We can change the pancreatic cancer narrative by helping people become more aware of the disease. It is our vision that pancreatic cancer is not a death sentence!
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and November 21, 2019 is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day. Join us on that day by wearing purple and spreading the word about pancreatic cancer.