Pancreatic Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

This year, an estimated 53,070 adults (27,670 men and 25,400 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

It is estimated that 41,780 deaths (21,450 men and 20,330 women) from this disease will occur this year. Pancreatic cancer is the ninth most common cancer in women and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men and women. As explained in the Overview, most pancreatic cancers are exocrine adenocarcinoma, and these statistics are for that type of pancreatic cancer.

The 1-year survival rate is tells you what percent of people live at least 1 year after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 1-year survival rate of people with pancreatic cancer is 29%, and the 5-year survival rate is 7%. However, survival rates are based on many factors, including the specific stage of disease.

Pancreatic cancer is often difficult to diagnose. This is because there are no specific, cost-effective screening tests that can easily and reliably find early-stage pancreatic cancer in people who have no symptoms. This means it is often not found until later stages when the cancer can no longer be removed with surgery and has spread from the pancreas to other parts of the body.

If the cancer is detected at an early stage when surgical removal of the tumor is possible, the 5-year survival rate is 27%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 11%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 1-year survival rate is 15% and the five-year survival rate is 2%.

It is important to remember that statistics on how many people survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on thousands of people with this cancer in the United States each year. So, your own risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long anyone will live with pancreatic cancer. Also, experts measure the survival statistics yearly. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available over the past year. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2016.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.