Black Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer than any other racial or ethnic group.

There are many reasons why the incidence rate of pancreatic cancer is higher for Black Americans. We don’t know what the cause of this disparity is, but factors related to systemic racism, the environment, access to nutritious food and barriers to quality healthcare may play a role. While we continue to invest research dollars into understanding more, we can help address the disparity the Black community experiences by sharing what we do know: understanding personal and family risk, learning signs and symptoms, and advocating for yourself and your community can all make a difference.

Take Action

Find out about surveillance for high-risk individuals. Individuals with one or more first-degree relatives with pancreatic cancer should consult with a genetic counselor and consider genetic testing.

Consider clinical trials. Racial and ethnic minorities are persistently underrepresented in pancreatic cancer clinical trials. Diversifying clinical trials ensures that treatment outcomes are reflective of all patient groups. Explore our Clinical Trial Finder.

Understand your treatment options. Knowing the mutations in your tumor and the mutations you were born with may help select treatment options that are likely to work best for you. PanCAN’s Know Your Tumor® service offers genetic and biomarker testing to identify mutations.

Stories from Our Community

PanCAN celebrates our vibrant, diverse community of pancreatic cancer experts, survivors and caregivers. Read more stories of Black Americans making a difference for families and patients.

“We’ve got a very nice vibe going in our affiliate – we are lighthearted and fun and we work smart and hard. We accomplish a lot.”

Read more about pancreatic cancer survivor and PanCAN volunteer Randi Ervin

“Advocate, advocate, advocate. Members of the Black community often put the needs of others first. We need to prioritize our health and our needs so that we can live longer, better, healthier lives.”

Read more about pancreatic cancer survivor and PanCAN volunteer Teona Ducre

“My grandmother enjoyed volunteering, so it was only fitting that I would get involved with PanCAN to help others facing pancreatic cancer.”

Read more about PanCAN volunteer Niketa Miller

Read More Stories

PanCAN Patient Services Case Managers are ready to answer questions and talk with members of the Black community about how to manage risk, find pancreatic cancer specialists, learn how to be your own best advocate, access clinical trials and much more. Get in touch for free, one-to-one support.

Know the Risk Factors

Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of getting pancreatic cancer. They include:

Family History

Inherited Genetic Mutations



Race (Ethnicity)



Older Age



Chemical and Heavy Metal Exposure

Gum Disease

Take our 10-question quiz

to learn more about pancreatic cancer risk factors and what may increase your risk.

Learn about the seven steps

you can take to reduce your pancreatic cancer risk. Download our one sheet.


PanCAN is proud to host educational virtual events featuring members of our community on a wide range of topics, including what you need to know about pancreatic cancer in the Black Community.

Talk to a Doctor: Pancreatic Cancer Awareness in the Black Community

Oncologist and researcher Marcus Noel, MD, fielded questions from the PanCAN community on range of topics including personal and family risk, the importance of self-advocacy, disparities facing the Black community and more. Watch our webinar.

Original Air Date: June 27, 2024

A Conversation about Pancreatic Cancer in the Black Community

Be inspired by stories about the power of patient advocacy and hear about progress in addressing racial inequities as related to pancreatic cancer. Watch our webinar.

Original Air Date: February 23, 2023

Let’s Talk About: Pancreatic Cancer in the Black Community

Members of the Black community talk about how to access treatment options and clinical trials, the importance of genetic and biomarker testing and more. Watch our webinar.

Original Air Date: June 22, 2022

PanCAN Health Equity Committee

PanCAN is committed to making equitable progress in the fight against pancreatic cancer. We have established the PanCAN Health Equity Committee with the goal to advise PanCAN on how we can better tackle health inequities in pancreatic cancer and achieve the best treatments and outcomes for all. The Committee is comprised of members who bring expertise from different sectors – including finance, science and medicine, media and religion. This diversity in experience is intentional, as every person’s unique viewpoint and expertise adds to the conversation.

PanCAN-Funded Research

PanCAN is working to make equitable progress in the fight against pancreatic cancer. We fund research studies focused on health inequities. We also advocate for more research funding and we are working to increase awareness of risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

Exploring Pancreatic Cancer Inequities

Read more about 2022 PanCAN grantee Janielle Maynard, PhD

An Agent of Change for Black and Latino/a/x Communities

Read more about 2022 PanCAN grantee Nicolette Juliana Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Launching a Career, Advocating for Diversity

Read more about 2021 PanCAN grantee Catherine Whittington, PhD

Progress is made possible thanks to PanCAN supporters.

Donate today and make a difference for patients with pancreatic cancer.