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Pancreatic Cancer: Lethal and on SSD's Compassionate Allowances List

Pancreatic cancer has recently been in the news because of the death of a young English woman who suffered from the disease. The 24-year-old made headlines when she participated in an awareness campaign under the headline, "I wish I had breast cancer." The ad angered breast cancer support and research organizations, and a spokesman for one said that his group could not support an ad that suggested that one form of cancer was preferable to another.

The point of the ad campaign was to highlight the fact that pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal forms of the illness. It is often misdiagnosed, as was the case with the young woman who became a symbol of the condition. By the time a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is confirmed, it is almost always too late for any type of effective treatment.

According to the U.K. organization Pancreatic Cancer Action, the ad campaign, "... simply expresses the real thoughts and feelings of many pancreatic cancer patients and is something we hear time and time again. Every cancer patient deserves the best chance of survival."

According to the American Cancer Society, five-year survival rates for pancreatic cancer range from 14 percent to one percent, with the highest survival rate being for those diagnosed at the earliest stages of the disease.

In contrast, five-year survival rates for breast cancer range from 100 percent for those in the earliest stages of the illness to 22 percent for those at the most advanced stage, according to the American Cancer Society.

Because the condition is so lethal, pancreatic cancer is on the U.S. Social Security Administration's list of Compassionate Allowances. This program speeds applications for Social Security Disability benefits so that claimants can be approved quickly. If there is a confirmed medical diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, disability is presumed and applicants are not required to prove they are disabled and unable to work.

If you have pancreatic cancer, or any other type of cancer that prevents you from working and you are having trouble obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, it's important to get help. Do what so many others have done: Call the advocates at Binder & Binder, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Tell them your story and find out how they can help.

Source: HuffPost Health Living, "'I Wish I Had Breast Cancer' Ad Will Stun You Into Silence," Feb. 13, 2014. 

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