- In 2020 an estimated 57,600 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S., and more than 47,050 will die from the disease.
- Pancreatic cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States surpassing breast cancer.
- Symptoms for pancreatic cancer may include weight loss, abdominal discomfort, back pain, development of type 2 diabetes and some tumors may cause jaundice leading to earlier diagnosis.
- Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. For all stages combined, the 5-year relative survival rate is 9%. Even for the small percentage of people diagnosed with local disease, the 5-year survival is only 37%. The majority of patients are diagnosed at a distant stage, for which the 5-year survival is 3%.
- Treatment options for pancreatic cancer: Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are treatment options that extend survival or relieve symptoms, but seldom produce a cure. Surgical removal of the tumor is possible in less than 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer because detection is often in late stages and has spread beyond the pancreas. Adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy (and sometimes radiation) may lower the risk of recurrence. For advanced disease, chemotherapy (sometimes along with a targeted drug therapy) may lengthen survival. Clinical trials are testing several new agents for their ability to improve survival.
- Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.
*Source for statistics: American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures 2020