What everyone should know...
There is always hope!
There are several points that we need to emphasize. First, and foremost, there is always hope! Although the statistics associated with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be daunting, we sincerely believe that there is always hope. This hope takes many forms; from the love and caring of family and friends, to good clinical responses to treatment, to the sincere belief in a brighter future through pancreatic cancer research. There is always hope.
Second, we would like to emphasize two aspects of patient care. If you don’t remember anything else about the clinical care of patients with pancreatic cancer after you have used this web page, we hope that you remember these two points. First, a growing body of evidence suggests that a multi-disciplinary team approach provides the most effective care for patients with pancreatic cancer. As emphasized in this web page, this team includes your general physician, gastroenterologists, radiologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiation oncologists, oncologists, pain experts, dieticians, and palliative care experts. Second, a number of scientific studies have established that experience matters when it comes to pancreatic surgery. Simply put, pancreatic cancer surgery is complex, and it is safest when it is performed at medical centers that perform a high volume of pancreatic cancer surgery.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.
- Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly of all types of cancer.
- This year 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and about 38,000 will die from it.
- Despite the high mortality rate, the federal government spends woefully little money on pancreatic cancer research.
Pancreatic cancer is treatable when caught early; the vast majority of cases are not diagnosed until too late.
- Five-year survival rates approach 25% if the cancers are surgically removed while they are still small and have not spread to the lymph nodes.
Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose
- There is no reliable screening test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.
- Symptoms are often vague and easily confused with other diseases.
- We need to invest in the development of an effective screening test.
Who Has the Greatest Risk?
- People with two or more relatives who have had pancreatic cancer (see National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry)
- Cigarette Smokers
- People of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
- Have the BRCA2, p16, STK11 gene mutation or chronic pancreatitis
- Are over the age of 50
Raise the Awareness of Everyone You Know
- Send the Pancreatic Cancer Facts and Symptoms sheet to everyone you know by pressing the PCCa Alert button above or printing this page and mailing it to your friends. By raising awareness, you are helping to save lives.