Given that only about 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year, this form of the disease doesn’t receive the publicity others do. Considering its high mortality rate, however, this type of cancer is one that every American should be very mindful of. An estimated 43,000 people lose their lives to this cause each year. The overall survival rate five years after diagnosis is less than 10 percent.
As the number of pancreatic cancer cases across the country begins to climb and more attention is drawn to the disease, the need for increase awareness is acute. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- Increasing funding – Pancreatic cancer awareness is key to raising the amount of funding that is currently available for research. This particular form of cancer does not have an early screening tool like breast or prostate cancer, for example. Also, treatment methods have seen no real advances in decades. Fundraising is critical for promoting research to detect, treat and beat this disease.
- Increasing patient awareness – People who are at the highest risk for pancreatic cancer may not know it. Enhanced awareness efforts may help change that and could serve to help some people lower their risks for the disease. Changeable risk factors include smoking and obesity.
- Improving earlier detection rates – While there is no single, simple screen to catch this form of cancer in its earliest stages, diagnostic tools are available. When people at risk for pancreatic cancer are aware of that fact and more common symptoms, earlier detection may be possible. This, in turn, could lead to more successful treatment for some.
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest, most difficult to detect and treat forms of this disease. Given that reality, pancreatic cancer awareness is a must to improve outcomes for the thousands of Americans diagnosed each year.