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Long term survival rates of pancreatic cancer still too low

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Long-term survival prospects for individuals who develop pancreatic cancer is now the lowest of the 21 most common cancers, according to Cancer Research UK.

And the new figures published by the charity suggest that long-term survival rates from the condition have not improved for forty years.
The statistics show that just over 3% of pancreatic cancer patients survive for at least five years, only a fraction more than the 2% who survived that long in the early 1970s.

Across all cancers, half of patients now survive at least twice that long. But most cases of pancreatic cancer go undetected until it is too late for surgery.

And with the lack of effective tests and treatments for the disease, the majority of patients still die within a year, Cancer Research UK said.

Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common cancer in the UK. Every year, around 8,800 people are diagnosed with the disease and around 8,300 die from it.

Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said it is “shocking” that so many patients are still losing their lives to pancreatic cancer.

Humar said: “Overall, more than half of all cancer patients now survive at least a decade, which is testament to the power of research to transform people’s lives. But disappointingly, we are nowhere near that level with pancreas cancer, and we won’t stop until we can bring those kinds of results to all patients, regardless of their cancer type.”

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