Despite advances in pancreatic cancer the disease is on track to become the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths before 2030
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – (January 17, 2024) – The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer has increased to 13%, up for the third year in a row according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2024 released today. A decade ago, the five-year survival rate was only 6% so the increase signals important progress with more patients living longer. The trend in survival rates is primarily driven by patients diagnosed with localized disease and better management of patients diagnosed at earlier stages.
“This is good news. We are seeing more patients being diagnosed at earlier stages and they are living longer,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). “However, not enough progress is being made for patients diagnosed with metastatic disease and we need to continue to find better treatment options for those patients.”
According to the report, an estimated 66,440 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2024, and 51,750 are predicted to die from the disease this year. Pancreatic cancer continues to be the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women combined in the United States and is on track to become the second-leading cause before 2030.
These statistics reflect a rise in both deaths and the number of cases, and experts note an increase in the incidence of pancreatic cancer in younger women. The cause is unknown but potential factors include increases in obesity and shifts in the racial/ethnic demographics within the U.S.
“We have seen better management of people who are considered high risk and better survival of those with localized disease, most likely due to the increased use and improvements in treatments available before (neoadjuvant) and after (adjuvant) surgery,” said Lynn Matrisian, PhD, MBA, PanCAN’s chief science officer. “PanCAN’s research priorities are to find an early detection strategy and accelerate treatments for (pancreatic cancer) patients. And we are dedicated to increasing awareness of symptoms and risk factors of pancreatic cancer.”
As the first and only organization dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer in a comprehensive way, PanCAN has invested more than $208 million into research. PanCAN Patient Services provides personalized information and resources to patients and their families, including its Clinical Trial Finder and access to the Know Your Tumor precision medicine service.
About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) leads the way in accelerating critical progress for pancreatic cancer patients. PanCAN takes bold action by funding life-saving research, providing personalized patient services and creating a community of supporters and volunteers who will stop at nothing to create a world in which all pancreatic cancer patients will thrive. For 18 years in a row, PanCAN has earned a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator – the highest rating an organization can receive. This rating designates PanCAN as an official “Give with Confidence” charity, indicating strong financial health, ongoing accountability, and transparency.
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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Charaighn Sesock, Associate Director, Public Relations
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network