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2022 Pancreatic Cancer Statistics and Survival Rates
Contributing Writer: Tony Subia
Introduction To Pancreatic Cancer Stats and Average Survival Rates
It’s important to note that the following pancreatic cancer stats represent a relative average of survival and death rates. Each pancreatic cancer patient is uniquely different and what treatment options perform best for each patient and respective responses and results will vary per patient depending upon many factors.
The earlier pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer usually shows few impressive signs and symptoms, if any at all until the cancer has already advanced to later stages beyond the pancreas when surgical removal of the cancerous tumor is no longer possible. It becomes more progressively more difficult to treat which leads to greater mortality rates.
The following statistics mostly refer to Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Cancer, the most deadly type of pancreatic cancer that occurs in the exocrine function of the pancreas which produces digestive enzymes. It accounts for over 90% of all pancreas cancers and is very aggressive, difficult to treat and accounts for the greatest mortality rate.
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine cancer occurs in the endocrine function of the pancreas which produces hormones including insulin which regulate healthy levels of blood sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer is less aggressive versus Adenocarcinoma and is easier to treat with a better mortality prognosis. It typically strikes at a younger median age versus pancreatic adenocarcinoma which is usually diagnosed at older ages.
5-Year Average Survival Rate Has Increased to 11.5%
The 5-Year Survival Rate across all stages of Pancreatic Cancer has increased to 11.5% based on data from 2012-2018 versus the previous 10%. The National Cancer Institute’s projected new cases in the US for 2022 is 62,210 and its projected number of annual deaths is 49,830.
The 1.5% increase in 5-year relative survival rate would represent that 747 more loved-ones would survive at least 5 more years after their original diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Although incidence rates are increasing, the increase of 1.5% in the projected 5-year relative survival rate shows that new innovative treatments are being discovered at a more rapid pace.
However, pancreatic cancer still has the lowest rate of early detection and remains the most difficult cancer to treat versus all other major types of cancer. Despite the 5.5% improvement of relative 5-year survival rate compared to a decade ago, pancreatic cancer has become the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths trailing only lung and colorectal cancers.
Percent of Cases and 5-Year Survival By Stage At Diagnosis
> Localized: 12%. Confined to the pancreas
> Regional: 30%. Spread to regional lymph nodes
> Distant: 52%. Cancer has spread to distant organs
> Unknown: 7% . Unstaged
5-Year Relative Survival Rate By Stage At Diagnosis
The following facts show how crucial it is to detect pancreatic cancer as early as possible when it is most treatable. There remains no easy method of early detection of pancreatic cancer. We must be very vigilant of the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer which are generally not very noticeable until the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas. Further increases in long term survival rates requires that the community must also be aware of pancreatic cancer risk factors.
You can see that the 5-year survival rate is over 14 times greater when diagnosed while the cancer is still confined to the pancreas and has not spread to distant organs. (43.9% versus 3.1%)
> Localized To The Pancreas: 43.9%
> Regional: 14.7%
> Distant Organs: 3.1%
> Unknown: 6.7%