For the third year in the row, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer has increased one percentage point, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2024 Report released today. Now at 13%, this steady progress in survival means more hope for people diagnosed with this tough disease.

“We are on a promising path,” said PanCAN President and CEO Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA. “The PanCAN community has reason to celebrate – every one of you has contributed to the upward trend we are seeing. The future looks positive as we continue to make progress for people facing pancreatic cancer and their loved ones.”

In terms of lives extended, this one percentage point increase is significant. It means 664 more loved ones will enjoy life’s moments five years after their pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

“Working toward improved treatment options remains critically important, especially for people diagnosed with later-stage disease, but we are seeing the value of earlier detection through these improvements in the survival rate,” said PanCAN Chief Science Officer Lynn Matrisian, PhD, MBA.

Still, there’s more work to be done. The 2024 report also highlights just how challenging pancreatic cancer is to diagnose and treat as compared to other types of cancer. Consider the following statistics:

  • Although pancreatic cancer is currently the 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., it is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, after lung and colon. And it is on track to become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths before 2030.
  • An estimated 66,440 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2024, more people than ever before. And approximately 51,750 Americans are expected to die from the disease this year.
  • Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers.

These sobering numbers mean PanCAN’s comprehensive approach is more vital than ever. PanCAN Patient Services offers free, one-to-one support for patients who need help finding specialists, clinical trials, treatment options and more. And we remain committed to our long-standing research priorities: To find an early detection strategy and accelerate treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer. Since 2003, PanCAN has invested approximately $208 million in research to achieve these goals. Our donors, fundraisers and volunteers make it all possible.

“Our guiding star is simple: We listen to people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and their families when they tell us what they need,” Fleshman said. “And they tell us they need more time together. They want to cherish memories with their loved ones. Our focus is on fulfilling that wish. This means combating pancreatic cancer on all fronts – from new early detection methods and treatment options to advocating for more federal funding to robust patient services.”

With your support, PanCAN has been leading the way for all those impacted by pancreatic cancer for 25 years. As the survival rate continues to trend upwards, the PanCAN community is more critical than ever. Achieving our bold goal to reach a five-year survival rate of 20% by 2030 is in sight.

“Thanks to you, we are changing the paradigm for patients and families,” Fleshman said. “We are on the right track and are committed to moving forward with your help.”

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