Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Pancreatic cancer deaths expected to grow; Bank mergers

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 24, 2014 2:58 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, November 25, 2014:

November is National Pancreatic Cancer Month and even though cancer of the pancreas is fairly common, it also is perplexing.  That's because pancreatic cancer is hard to detect due to the pancreas' location in the body.  It is surrounded by large amounts of tissue.  That's also why it can be difficult to treat.  Often surgery is the only cure but only a fraction of cases are operable.

More than 31,000 Americans die of pancreatic cancer each year.  It is the nation's fourth leading leading cause of cancer death.

Earlier this year, the American Association of Cancer Research said that pancreatic cancer will move up to number two in cancer deaths by the year 2030.

Obesity, high calorie diets and lack of physical activity contribute to the the increasing numb er of deaths according to the American Cancer Society.

Appearing on Tuesday's Smart Talk to discuss pancreatic cancer are Dr. Niraj Gusani, Director of the Program for Liver, Pancreas and Foregut Tumors at Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and Patricia Day, a Penn State Hershey patient who is considered to be ‘cured’ of pancreatic cancer.

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Also on Tuesday's program, a look at bank mergers and acquisitions over the past decade.

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Central Penn Business Journal's Michael Sadowski developed a quiz on what banks in the region used to be called.

It's timely after the announcement earlier this month that BB&T was purchasing Lancaster County based Susquehanna Bank.

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  • Scott LaMar img 2014-11-25 11:53

    Emma writes...
    Dear Scott and guests,

    I just wanted to thank you for the program today. I lost my father to pancreatic cancer (two years after diagnosis), but I have also had it. I was being “watched” for other health reasons (rare genetic disease-MEN 1), and a CT scan showed the tumor. I had most of my pancreas (along with my spleen, gall bladder and part of my stomach) removed when I was 20 years old (a whipple! 😊). My pancreas still worked, but the tumor regrew and I had the remainder 10 % removed (about 5 years later).

    I am type 1 diabetic as a result, and must take enzymes along with insulin. People, however, can be very ignorant on the subject. I’ve had people ask me if I drank too much soda, and assume that I eat an unbalanced diet because of digestion issues. Furthermore, after my first surgery, I lost 20 pounds, and often heard, “You look wonderful!” This was also disheartening because people didn't know what I had to go through.

    It’s been almost ten years since the first diagnosis. I never had a doctor tell me, “You have cancer.” It has spread to my liver, but I am very lucky that it has been slow-growing. I have CT scans every couple months.

    It’s been a difficult struggle, but one of the hardest parts is how to tactfully deal with the level of ignorance some people portray. When I tell people, I almost always hear “I’m sorry.” That’s not what I want to hear from you. I’m not sorry, you shouldn’t be sorry, there is nothing we can do to change it, and it’s helped make me who I am today, someone I am proud to be. Death is a part of life, and although there is no cure, I don’t want anyone’s sympathy. Because of this, I rarely tell anyone of my diagnosis. I also don’t want this disease to define my existence. Thank you for dedicating an episode to this issue.

    I realize my thoughts in this email are scattered, but this topic is one I rarely discuss, especially with strangers. Thank you for your time.