On Feb. 15, 2016, the nation learned that beloved author Pat Conroy, most well-known for the novels “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini,” had pancreatic cancer.

Yesterday, less than one month after sharing the news of his diagnosis, we learned that he passed from the disease at age 70.

“Pat Conroy inspired the literary world for decades,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “We are saddened that his life was cut short by a ruthless disease. We remain steadfast in our commitment to bring better treatment options to pancreatic cancer patients and double survival by 2020.”

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate of any major cancer, at only 8 percent.

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society reported that more patients will die from pancreatic cancer than breast cancer this year, making pancreatic cancer the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.

Conroy joins a growing list of other authors, musicians, actors and notable public figures who’ve succumbed to the disease, including Patrick Swayze.

To double survival by 2020, our organization funds research, advocates for increased funding and resources from the federal government, raises awareness through community outreach, and provides excellent patient services and support for novel initiatives like Clinical Trial Finder, the Know Your Tumor personalized medicine service and the Patient Registry.