Pancreas cancer strikes again: Dream Team Basketball Coach Chuck Daly Dies

Charles “Chuck” Daly died at the age of 78 on May 9 only two months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Daly was a legendary basketball coach and member of the NBA Hall of Fame who during his career, served as head coach of the following teams: Boston College, University of Pennsylvania, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit pistons, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic and America’s “Dream Team” in the 1992 Summer Olympics.

  • Pancreatic cancer is primarily a disease of the elderly with 80% of the cases occurring between the ages of 60 and 80.
  • It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death for men and fifth for women.
  • Each year it kills more than 32,000 people in the U.s. and more than 250,000 people worldwide.
  • The most important risk factors for developing this disease are family history and cigarette smoking (which doubles the risk).

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Inherited genetic disorders cause 5-10% of cases of pancreatic cancer and certain genes can inrease the lifetime risk up 80%.

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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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