WHEREAS, cholangiocarcinoma is a rare, uncurable cancer that starts in the bile duct, a four- to five-inch tube that reaches from the liver to the small intestine and moves bile fluid from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine to help digest the fats in our food; and

WHEREAS, the mortality rate for cholangiocarcinoma has increased over the last decade, with an estimated 10,000 people in the United States developing this cancer annually; almost two of every three people diagnosed are 65 or older when this cancer is found; and

WHEREAS, diagnosis typically occurs at a late stage because there is no validated early method of detection; typical symptoms, like jaundice, abdominal pain, itchy skin, and weight loss, do not usually present until advanced disease progression; and

WHEREAS, the chances of survival for patients with cholangiocarcinoma depends to a large extent on its location and how advanced it is when it is found; and

WHEREAS, of the eight deadliest cancers, seven are rare; rare cancers have a five-year survival rate under 50 percent, with the cholangiocarcinoma five-year survival rate being approximately 20 percent; and

WHEREAS, increased cholangiocarcinoma advocacy, awareness, research, and education will bring improved outcomes for patients in earlier detection and treatment and potential curative methods; and

WHEREAS, foundations, research and teaching hospitals, rare cancer advocacy groups, and patient advocacy groups from around the globe come together to recognize February as Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness Month; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina encourages residents to recognize and observe Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness Month in commemoration of all patients and caregivers impacted by this rare, fatal cancer;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROY COOPER, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim February, 2023, as “CHOLANGIOCARCINOMA AWARENESS MONTH” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.

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