Pancreatic cancer strikes an estimated 53,000 American men and women each year. While those numbers don’t make it the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease, its mortality rate is cause for concern. About 43,000 people die annually across the country from this form of cancer, making it one of the deadliest. Given its high mortality rate – less than 10 percent survival after five years – understanding the signs and symptoms is important for those who are at risk.
In its earliest stages, pancreatic cancer tends to present with no symptoms. That fact is one of the reasons why the disease is so deadly. Even so, recognizing symptoms when they appear can help lead to faster detection and treatment. Some of the more common symptoms people at risk should be mindful of include:
- Jaundice – This is the yellowing of the eyes and skin. It is one of the most common, and often the first, symptom found in people with pancreatic cancer. Jaundice can be traced to many other, often benign conditions, so it is important for people at risk for pancreatic cancer to understand those risks and the significance this symptom may hold.
- Back or abdominal pain – Unexplained pain in the back or abdomen is very common and can have a diversity of sources. Pancreatic cancer is one of them. The pain arises when tumors begin to push on nearby organs or tissue.
- Digestive problems – Unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and other similar concerns may all signal the presence of pancreatic cancer.
- New onset diabetes – When otherwise healthy, normal weight people develop diabetes, the cause may be pancreatic cancer.
Diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer as quickly as possible is key to improving outcomes. People at risk for this condition are urged to be mindful of the symptoms. Risk factors include family history, certain genetic syndromes, smoking, obesity, chronic pancreatitis and new onset diabetes, among others.
Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed about 53,000 times each year in the United States. The disease claims about 43,000 lives annually. With a five-year survival rate that is less than 10 percent, this form of cancer has the dubious distinction of being the one with the highest mortality rate in the country. The average life expectancy after diagnosis, in fact, is less than six months if the cancer has already metastasized. Since this is typically when a diagnosis is readily made, the urgency surrounding this form of cancer is clear.
While breakthroughs have been made in breast, lung, prostate and many other forms of cancer in recent decades, pancreatic cancer detection and treatment has remained largely stagnant. At present, this form of cancer is nearly impossible to detect in its earliest stages. With no routine screening exam available and few, if any, discernable symptoms in its earliest stages, pancreatic cancer typically progresses dramatically before the concern is even considered by patients or their healthcare providers.
There are steps people can take to help increase pancreatic cancer survival rates. They include:
- Knowing personal risks – People who understand their personal risks may be able to take steps to lower them. In general, risk factors include diabetes, family history, chronic pancreatitis, smoking and obesity, among others. A family doctor can also help people gauge their risks and identify ways to lower them.
- Getting involved with fundraising efforts – Pancreatic cancer may be the deadliest form of the disease, but it is not the best funded. One of the best ways to help is to donate to or raise funds for organizations that finance research. Better screening tools and treatments are very much needed to improve pancreatic cancer survival rates.
- Helping raise awareness – Working with organizations that strive to raise awareness about this form of cancer can also be important.
Pancreatic cancer survival rates remain grim, but work is well under way to change that. People can take an active role in helping by knowing their risks, raising awareness and assisting in fundraising that supports continued research.
Pancreatic cancer is a diagnosis that will impact an estimated 53,000 Americans in the coming year. Considered one of the deadliest forms of the disease known to man, an estimated 43,000 people across the country will die from this cause in the next 12 months. While researchers work feverishly to develop better tools to improve patient outcomes, pancreatic cancer support is very much needed.
There are a number of ways people can become active in the quest to beat this disease. Here are just a few ideas on how anyone can get involved and provide pancreatic cancer support:
- Help with fundraising efforts – Pancreatic cancer has one of the grimmest survival rates of all cancers, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to research funding. Nonprofit organizations that provide research grants for the development of better diagnostics and treatments are in continuous need of financial support to further their efforts. Straight donations, becoming active in fundraising events and other measures can go a long way toward improving treatments and outcomes.
- Assist with raising awareness – Pancreatic cancer diagnosis rates are on the rise, but many people are still largely unaware of this form of the disease and the toll it takes on lives. Raising awareness about pancreatic cancer, the need for research and preventative measures is an important way to help.
- Get involved with organizations that are working in the trenches – Some nonprofit organizations offer pancreatic cancer support directly to patients and their families. Getting involved with these groups can make a big impact on the community level. From driving patients to treatment appointments to assisting with support groups or other outreach efforts, giving time can also make a big difference.
As pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest forms of this disease, there are many important ways people can become involved. Helping provide pancreatic cancer support through awareness, fundraising and helping patients and families directly can all make a difference.
With an overall five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent, pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of this disease. Pancreatic cancer prognosis and survival rates, however, will vary based on the stage at diagnosis and the effectiveness of any treatments undertaken. Unfortunately, this form of cancer is often only detected in its later stages, which gives rise to such a high mortality rate. According to the American Cancer Society, about 53,000 people across the country will be diagnosed with this disease in the coming year. An estimated 43,000 will die pancreatic cancer-related deaths.
The specific pancreatic cancer prognosis a patient may receive will depend on the stage of the disease in which detection occurs and other related factors. As it is with all forms of cancer, survivability tends to be higher when the disease is caught in earlier stages when interventions have a higher chance of being successful. The cancer society estimates these five-year survival rates based on stage of diagnosis:
- Stage IA – About 14 percent
- Stage IB – About 12 percent
- Stage IIA – About 7 percent
- Stage IIB – About 5 percent
- Stage III – About 3 percent
- Stage IV – about 1 percent
The survival rates are estimates, however. An individual’s prognosis may vary based on the nature of the tumor, its response to treatment and other case-specific factors.
Researchers are working with intensity to develop better treatments for this form of cancer and more effective screening tools. In the meantime, it is recommended those at risk take steps to lower their likelihood of developing this disease. Common risk factors include obesity, tobacco use, age, family history, certain genetic syndromes, new-onset type 2 diabetes and chronic pancreatitis, among others. People who are at risk for the disease are urged to talk to their doctors about steps they can take to help prevent the disease.
Pancreatic cancer is projected to strike more than 53,000 Americans in the coming year. An estimated 43,000 will die from the disease, making it one of the deadliest forms of cancer in the United States. Understanding the symptoms and risks, however, can help people gain access to earlier intervention, which could lead to life-preserving treatments.
Pancreatic cancer is known to be especially deadly because this disease is often only detected in later stages. This is because symptoms at the earliest stages tend to be rather vague, if they present at all. The most common symptoms include:
- A darkening of the urine
- Light-colored stools or greasy stools
- Itchy skin
- Back or abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vomiting and nausea
- Liver or gallbladder enlargement
- Now-onset type 2 Diabetes
Since many of these symptoms are associated with a host of other conditions, pancreatic cancer may go undetected for a long period of time. That is why understanding personal risk factors may also be important to help lead to an earlier diagnosis. Risks include smoking, obesity, new-onset diabetes, family history, chronic pancreatitis and certain genetic syndromes, among others. When symptoms appear in people at higher risk for this disease, doctors may recommend screening.
Pancreatic cancer has several different stages the disease may progress through. They are:
- Stage 0 – At this stage, the tumor is generally confined to the top layers of the duct cells.
- Stage IA – This stage of tumor is confined to the pancreas itself and is 2 cm across or less.
- Stage IB – At this point, a tumor will measure to more than 2 cm across, but will not have spread to nearby lymph nodes or distant sites.
- Stage IIA – Tumors at this stage have grown outside the pancreas, but have not spread to major blood vessels, nerves or nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage IIB – The tumor at this stage can be confined to the pancreas or outside it, but will not affect major blood vessels or nerve. Spread to nearby lymph nodes, however, will have occurred.
- Stage III – Tumors at this stage have grown outside the pancreas and into nearby major blood vessels or nerves. Cancer may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage IV – Cancer at this stage will affect distant sites in addition to the pancreas and nearby tissue.
People who are concerned about pancreatic cancer are urged to talk to their doctors. Understanding personal risks and symptoms can help lead to a more rapid diagnosis should the disease present.
Pancreatic cancer is a notorious killer. Associated with a one-year survival rate that is dismally low and a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent, a positive diagnosis of this condition is often a death sentence. While researchers are well aware of several factors that combine to make this form of cancer so very deadly, an understanding of why it tends to be so aggressive has been largely elusive. A new study sheds light on a possible causation.
The study in question found that pancreatic cancer tumors active a factor known as Zeb1. This factor controls how cells survive in their early stages of development. When cells are fully developed, Zeb1 is typically blocked. If the factor is reactivated in cancer cells, however, it allows these malignant cells to quickly disseminate throughout the body, essentially paving the way for secondary tumor formation.
The full implications of the finding aren’t clear yet, but researchers hope the discovery of the Zeb1 factor in pancreatic cancer may lead to more effective treatment strategies down the road. If this factor’s activation can be reversed or blocked entirely, the aggressiveness of tumors might be an addressable factor.
Pancreatic cancer is expected to strike more than 53,000 Americans this year. More than 40,000 people will die from this cause. With very few, if any, symptoms at its onset and no screening tool available for widespread use, this form of cancer is often diagnosed in later stage. This makes it very difficult to treat, as evidence by the low survival rate. People who are at risk for this form of cancer are urged to report any unusual symptoms to their healthcare providers. Risk factors include new-onset diabetes, obesity, family history, smoking and chronic pancreatitis, among others. People who are concerned about their risks for pancreatic cancer are urged to talk to their doctors. Addressing the risks that can be changed is highly advised.
More than 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the coming year. An estimated 43,000 people will die from this cause. With a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent, this form of cancer is widely considered one of the deadliest. Lacking a viable early screening test for widespread use, this type of cancer is hard to detect and especially difficult to treat. Those facts make understanding personal risk and the signs to look for critical.
Pancreatic cancer tends to develop unchecked in its earliest phases because it may present with no or very vague symptoms. Understanding what those vague symptoms are, however, can lead to earlier diagnosis and the potential for more successful treatment.
Some of the more common signs of pancreatic cancer include:
- Jaundice – A yellowing of the eyes and the skin can be caused by a pancreatic tumor blocking off a bile duct. This causes bile to build up and may result in changes in skin coloration, darker urine and light-colored stools.
- Abdominal pain – Persistent pain in the abdomen or back may indicate a pancreatic tumor.
- Sudden, unexplained weight loss – If a fair amount of weight is lost for no particular reason, it may be caused by inhibition of digestive enzymes.
- Diabetes – Newly diagnosed type two diabetes may be caused by a pancreatic tumor.
- Blood clots – Pancreatic cancer is associated with the production of deep vein thrombosis, or blood clotting.
While the more common symptoms of pancreatic cancer are also strongly linked to other conditions, knowing what they are can prove critical. When these symptoms combine with personal risk factors, they may signal a need to screen for the presence of pancreatic cancer. Some of the more common risks for pancreatic cancer include obesity, smoking, family history, chronic pancreatitis and diabetes, among others.
People who are concerned about pancreatic cancer are urged to talk with their doctors about personal risks. Should symptoms arise, it is important to seek medical care.
With a five-year survival rate that’s already less than 10 percent, pancreatic cancer is considered among the deadliest forms of this disease known to man. For those who smoke, a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer may pose an even higher mortality risk, researchers say.
A recent study that looked into the links between smoking and pancreatic cancer death risks revealed very disturbing findings. Smokers, researchers say, witnessed a 40 percent reduction in survival likelihood versus their counterparts who had never smoked.
To arrive at their findings, researchers dove into data related to smoking status and more than 1,000 pancreatic cancer patients from the United States. Researchers say the data showed that smokers had a 37 percent increased risk of death overall. The driving factor behind the mortality rate, researchers believe, is partially attributed to high levels of cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine. Researchers noted there was no reduction in survival rate for former smokers, which means quitting may make a big difference on this front.
Pancreatic cancer is expected to strike an estimated 53,000 Americans in the coming year. About 43,000 people die from this causation each year in the United States. The disease has no widely available early screening tool and is known to be highly resistant to standard forms of therapy. Considering that most cases are diagnosed in later stages, the overall survival rate for pancreatic cancer is extremely low. Researchers, however, say that quitting smoking or avoiding it all together could have an impact on an individual patient’s outcome should this disease develop.
Pancreatic cancer is associated with a long list of risk factors, some changeable and some not. Smoking happens to be one of the risks that people can eliminate. New onset diabetes, obesity, chronic pancreatitis and family history may also elevate risks. People who are concerned about pancreatic cancer are urged to talk to their doctors. If smoking is a concern, healthcare providers can assist with cessation advice.
With a five-year survival rate that’s less than 10 percent, pancreatic cancer is considered one of the most difficult forms of this disease to treat. Often diagnosed in later stages, this form of cancer is noted for having tumors that simply do not respond to common treatments, such as chemotherapy. Researchers, however, believe they may have uncovered a way to produce more positive results through treatment. The method involves taking a two-step approach to chemotherapy.
A recent study was conducted to determine if a more in-depth approach to chemotherapy would have an impact on results. The treatment involved the use of Fasudil, a drug used on stroke victims, for a three-day period. Researchers believed the drug might prepare tumors to be more receptive to standard chemotherapy. Once the course of Fasudil was completed, chemotherapy began.
The results of the small-scale trial were quite promising. Researchers found that the two-step treatment was able to double survival time while impeding the spread of cancer. The trial was conducted on mice and using tumor samples from human patients, as well.
While more work needs to be done to determine if the approach would be beneficial for more widespread use, researchers say it is a positive step forward. Clinical trials to test safety for patient use are planned and the off-patent Fasudil, scientists say, is ripe for repurposing for uses such as fighting pancreatic cancer.
It is estimated that more than 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the coming year. An estimated 43,000 will die from this cause. With no early screening test widely available and few symptoms, if any, at its onset, pancreatic cancer remains a very difficult form of the disease to detect and treat. The latest research into a two-step approach may someday help make treatment more effective. In the meantime, people at risk for this condition are strongly urged to talk to their healthcare providers.
A link between potentially deadly pancreatic cancer and new onset diabetes has long been known. While the two conditions don’t always go hand-in-hand, the frequency rate has been enough for researchers to begin probing the connection between pancreatic cancer and the rare type 3c diabetes. A recent study has shed light on a biomarker that may someday lead to earlier detection and lifesaving treatment in diabetics who also happen to have pancreatic cancer.
In studying the connection between the two conditions, researchers found a hormone called Neuromedin U. This hormone decreases insulin levels in the body, essentially creating diabetic symptoms. Researchers have found that Neuromedin U is not typically created in the pancreas. It is believed to instead be produced and secreted into the blood by cells associated with early-stage pancreatic cancer.
The recent study is especially encouraging for a few important reasons. Firstly, the hormone may hold the key as to why people who are not obese present with diabetes later in life and are also estimated to be 20-fold more likely to develop pancreatic cancer within a short period after diabetes diagnosis. Secondly, the hormone may serve as a way for researchers to develop a tool for early detection of pancreatic cancer. This, in turn, could result in much more positive outcomes for patients with this disease.
The American Cancer Society estimates that some 53,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the coming year. About 43,000 people will die from the cause in the next year alone. Very difficult to detect when it is in its earlier stages and nearly impossible to treat in later stages, pancreatic cancer is considered one of the deadliest form of the disease. The hormone Neuromedin U may someday soon serve as a way to open the door to earlier detection and more successful treatment.