Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Pancreatic Cancer

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2013
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ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have this type of cancer each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

This year, an estimated 46,420 adults (23,530 men and 22,890 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It is estimated that 39,590 deaths (20,170 men and 19,420 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.

Pancreatic cancer can often be difficult to diagnose because, currently, there are no specific, cost-effective screening tests that can easily and reliably find early-stage pancreatic cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease. 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. The overall one-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least one year after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases. The one-year survival rate of people with pancreatic cancer is 27%, and the five-year survival rate is approximately 6%. If the cancer is detected at an early stage when surgical removal of the tumor is possible, the five-year survival rate is about 24%.

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with pancreatic cancer. Because the survival statistics are measured in one-year or five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer.

Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2014.

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Last Updated: 
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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