received a final sendoff this past weekend in his hometown of Modena, Italy. Pavarotti died last week of pancreatic cancer. More than 100,000 people filed through the cathedral and plaza, more than 700 guests attended the funeral mass and millions watched the live broadcast on television.
Pavarotti underwent surgery for a malignant pancreatic mass in July 2006. A month later, after his surgery, Pavarotti told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, "I was a fortunate and happy man. After that, this blow arrived. And now I am paying the penalty for this fortune and happiness."
One could not be surprised that Pavarotti felt this way. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers, with a five-year survival rate here in the U.S. of less than 5%, although surgery can improve survival greatly. Pancreatic cancer is also one of the most underfunded research areas in cancer. For more information about what you can do to increase funding for pancreatic cancer research and raise awareness of this deadly disease, please see PanCAN's action page.