Pancreatic cancer survival rates 'unacceptable'

21 June 2018 08:31

Charity Pancreatic Cancer UK has called the figure 'unacceptable'.

Charity Pancreatic Cancer UK has called the figure 'unacceptable'.

Only 3% of patients with the most common type of pancreatic cancer are living more than five years after being diagnosed, new analysis has shown.

The study found that fewer than one in five (18.3%) patients in England diagnosed with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma survive longer than a year after diagnosis.

The research shows that the five-year survival rate falls to just 3.2%, a figure that charity Pancreatic Cancer UK called 'unacceptable'.

Survival Rates

The authors of the study, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Pancreatic Cancer UK and the University of Heidelberg in Germany, found that patients with the less common type of pancreatic cancer - neuroendocrine tumours - had a better outcome.

For those with this type of tumour, 64.5% survived for at least a year, while more than a third survived for at least five years, according to data on more than 25,000 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 2010 and 2013.

For all types of pancreatic cancer, the one- and five-year survival rates were 19.3% and 4.4%, respectively, according to the study, which will be presented to Public Health England's Cancer Services, Data and Outcomes Conference in Manchester.

The research is the first to differentiate between survival rates for patients with these different types of pancreatic cancer.

The authors said that earlier diagnosis and more surgery will be required to improve survival among patients with the most common form of pancreatic cancer - which Pancreatic Cancer UK said affects around 95% of those diagnosed.

Unacceptable

In its response to the research, charity Pancreatic Cancer UK said that three in five pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage and called for action to enable more patients to be diagnosed sooner.

Diana Jupp, chief executive of the charity, said: "For the first time, our study has revealed the truly outrageous survival for the vast majority of people with pancreatic cancer.

"This survival is completely unacceptable and it simply cannot be ignored.

"Due to increased research investment, in recent years we have seen outstanding progress in other cancers such as breast and prostate, and a shocking lack of progress for pancreatic.

"But, together, we can turn this around and transform the future for people affected.

"Now we are armed with a clear picture of this disease overall, it must be confronted as an emergency by Governments, research-funders, and health commissioners alike."

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