Early Cancer Detection is Key

Cancer Journeys Foundation


U.S. Rep. K. Mark Takai died yesterday morning in Honolulu, nine months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A statement from his office said Takai passed away at his home, surrounded by his family. He was 49. 

Gov. David Ige issued a statement lauding Takai’s public service and expressing condolences. “Today, the people of Hawaii mourn the passing of U.S. Rep. Mark Takai,” he said. “He proudly served his country in uniform, including 17 years with the Hawaii Army National Guard. Mark humbly and effectively served the people of his state House and Congressional districts.

“In life, we often make plans for ourselves,” Takai said. “I had envisioned a long career in the U.S. House of Representatives, building up the seniority and influence that were key to Sen. (Daniel) Inouye’s ability to deliver for Hawaii. But as often happens, we find ourselves on a different journey than what we had planned.” via U.S. Rep. Mark Takai dies after battle with pancreatic cancer.

Early detection is critical for all cancers and pancreatic cancer, like prostate cancer, does not show any symptoms until it is advanced and difficult, if not impossible, to treat effectively.

Research is continuing for a screening biomarker for pancreatic cancer that will replace the current CA 19-9 test, which has not been shown to be effective for early pancreatic cancer detection. Researchers at Queen Mary Hosptial in London are working on a urine-based early detection tool for pancreatic cancer: Queen Mary Hospital research.

It is a different situation, however, for prostate cancer, which the is most common male cancer and the number two cause of male cancer death.

Men should begin taking a prostate cancer screening test (the PSA blood test) at age 35 and then track their annual test results looking for any rising value. Men can track their PSA test values using the free ProstateTracker early detection system.

The Cancer Journeys Foundation sends it condolences and prayers to the Takai family.