Burlington man battles cancer and inspires others
Mitch Meacham, 51, of Burlington, didn’t realize he’d been living with a tumor the size of a small woman’s fist on his pancreas until 2006, and by then he was told it was too late.
That’s the news thousands of Americans hear when they first go to the doctor complaining of symptoms, since patients can’t usually tell there’s anything wrong until their pancreatic cancer has spread to other organs, according to the American Cancer Society.
This year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates about 45,220 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 38,460 will die from the disease.
“By the time it’s diagnosed,” it’s pretty serious, said Tracy Berger, medical family therapist with the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program at Duke University Medical Center. “Mitch was one of those people.”