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10 Things to Know About Pancreatic Cancer

The fourth deadliest cancer is a silent killer

Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease that spreads “silently,” without symptoms. When symptoms do present themselves, the cancer is usually advanced. However, there are a variety of innovative treatment options available to patients.

Knowing the facts about pancreatic cancer will give you an awareness of the risks and the signs of the disease.

10 things to know about pancreatic cancer

1. Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the United States. It is also the fourth deadliest.

2. About 43,920 people (22,090 men and 21,830 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012.

3. About 37,390 people (18,850 men and 18,540 women) will die of pancreatic cancer.

4. Since 2004, rates of pancreatic cancer have increased about 1.5 percent per year.

5. The risk of pancreatic cancer increases as you age. Nearly 90 percent of patients are older than 55. The average age of patients when the cancer is found is 72.

6. Smokers have an increased chance of getting pancreatic cancer. Up to three out of 10 cases of pancreatic cancer are thought to be caused by smoking.

7. Obesity and lack of exercise are both risk factors for pancreatic cancer.

8. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer include jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes), pain in the belly area, unexplained weight loss and fatigue, and digestive problems.

9. Pancreatic cancer is detected through physical exams and then imaging tests such as CT scans and MRI.

10. Cancer of the pancreas is treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Some or all of these treatments could be combined.

More information

Cancer of the Pancreas   
Pancreatic Disease Treatment Guide  
American Cancer Society: Pancreatic Cancer

Tags: acute pancreatitis, pancreas, pancreatic cancer, pancreatic disease
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  • Valarie.a

    What about the over use of alcohol in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer?

  • Colleen nero

    Has any research been done on genetics and pancreatic cancer ,my grandmother died in 1972 from it.

  • KAREN

    MY SISTER HAS ANGIO SARCOMA…SHE’S HAD SURGERY, CHEMO AND RADIATION (IT’S IN HER BRAXIO PLEXIS) IS THERE ANY DOCTORS THERE THAT ARE SPECIALISTS OR AT LEAST KNOW ABOUT THIS RARE CANCER? SHE IS 54.

    • Health Hub Team

      Dr. Thomas Budd would be able to see you as a patient and also recommend you see a specialist in musculoskeletal oncology. You can call our Cancer Answer line for more answers to your questions 866.223.8100.
      Sincerely,
      HealthHub Team

  • JoAnn

    Where are the responses to these comments…..some are 4-6months old…..

  • pat wolover

    There isn’t anything new in the information you provided….what about familial risks? My paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather and my mother all died of Pancreatic cancer….all smoked… None were obese…. two were 65…one was 83.