Rising Rates of Pancreatic Cancer
By the year 2020, and possibly as early as 2015, pancreatic cancer will move from the fourth leading cause of cancer death to the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, according to a report released last month by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
The report estimates that incidence of pancreatic cancer will more than double by 2030 and within this decade the number of pancreatic cancer deaths per year will exceed those of breast and colorectal cancer. The report also notes that pancreatic cancer is the only cancer in the top five cancer killers in which both incidence and death rates are expected to rise over the next two decades. The leading causes of cancer death include lung, colorectal, breast, pancreas and prostate.
The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen behind the stomach. It produces digestive juices, insulin and other hormones. Because the pancreas is located deep inside the body and is not routinely screened, tumors are often not diagnosed until they are in the advanced stages.
Notes Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, “We applaud AICR and WCRF’s important work on understanding the impact of diet and weight on the incidence of diseases like pancreatic cancer. With continued, strategic research investments from both private and government sources, we can gain the knowledge and expertise that is required to make real advances in the prevention, detection and treatment of this deadly disease.”
Source: The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The Alarming Rise of Pancreatic Cancer Deaths in the United States: Why We Need to Stem the Tide Today. Prepared August 2012 by the Research and Scientific Affairs department of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.