Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106
03/10/2011 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES
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HCR 1-PANCREATIC CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 3:01:30 PM CHAIR KELLER announced that the first order of business would be HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 1, Proclaiming November 2011 to be Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. 3:02:43 PM The committee took an at-ease from 3:02 p.m. to 3:04 p.m. 3:04:11 PM CHAIR KELLER brought the committee back to order. 3:04:58 PM REPRESENTATIVE PETE PETERSEN, Alaska State Legislature, explained that this was a resolution to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer. He reported that although pancreatic cancer was the fourth leading cause of cancer related death in the U. S., only 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute's research funding budget was directed toward it. He shared that pancreatic cancer was one of the few cancers that had not seen a dramatic rise in survival rates during the last 40 years. He reported the average life expectancy to be 3 - 6 months, and that the percentage for survival was in the single digits. He read from the Sponsor Statement: [Included in the members' packets] Increasing awareness will lead to expanded research into locating the disease's causes, enhancing early detection, and developing effective treatments. Raising awareness will also lead to more knowledge about pancreatic cancer among Alaskans and directly enhance the good [health] and well being of our state's residents. 3:07:15 PM REPRESENTATIVE HERRON asked for a reference in the resolution to the possible causes of pancreatic cancer. 3:07:45 PM DAVID BREMER, Staff, Representative Pete Petersen, Alaska State Legislature, in response to Representative Herron, explained that the risk factors included family history of the disease, smoking, age, and diabetes. 3:08:11 PM REPRESENTATIVE HERRON suggested a conceptual amendment to include a "whereas" for possible causes. 3:08:37 PM CHAIR KELLER asked Representative Petersen if he was amenable to a conceptual amendment to include the risk factors. REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN said that he was agreeable to this, but he explained that there was limited research for the areas of risk. 3:09:10 PM REPRESENTATIVE HERRON pointed out that pancreatic cancer was more common in smokers and obese people. CHAIR KELLER offered wording for the conceptual amendment that would include "potentially identified risk factors." 3:10:01 PM REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT asked about the symptoms for pancreatic cancer. MR. BREMER, in response, said that the symptoms included weight loss, abdominal and back pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and jaundice. 3:10:42 PM CHAIR KELLER opened public testimony. 3:11:09 PM REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON, Alaska State Legislature, stated his support for HCR 1, as it would bring awareness to the disease. He shared his personal experience with his wife's battle with pancreatic cancer. He pointed out that nothing could be done, even with early detection. 3:13:04 PM CHAIR KELLER asked about for a comparison to the other leading cancers. 3:13:29 PM MR. BREMER stated that lung cancer accounted for 28 percent, colon cancer accounted for 10 percent, breast cancer accounted for 7.5 percent, and pancreatic cancer accounted for 6 percent. 3:14:03 PM CHAIR KELLER closed public testimony. 3:14:28 PM REPRESENTATIVE HERRON moved to adopt a conceptual amendment to add that pancreatic cancer was more common in smokers, and people who were obese. 3:15:38 PM There being no objection, it was so ordered. 3:15:52 PM REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT moved to report HCR 1, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHCR 1(HSS) was reported from the House Health and Social Services Standing Committee.