Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness. In honor of my mother, I’d like to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer on my blog with a few stats.

*The Pancreatic Cancer Awareness ribbon is purple.

*Pancreatic Cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death.

Despite this:

*Less than 2% of the money the federal government spends on cancer research is dedicated to pancreatic cancer.

*The American Cancer Society estimates that 37,680 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during 2008.

*An estimated 34,290 Americans will die of pancreatic cancer in 2008.

*The risk of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. Almost all patients are older than 45 years. Nearly 90% are older than 55 years and more than 70% are older than 65. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 72.

*Men are slightly more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than are women.

*African Americans are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than whites.

*The risk of getting pancreatic cancer is 2 to 3 times higher among smokers.

*Very overweight (obese) people are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, as are people who don’t get much physical activity. Exercise lowers the risk of pancreatic cancer.

*Pancreatic cancer is more common in people with this disease.

*Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early.

*Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it’s a leading cause of cancer death.

*Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced and surgical removal isn’t possible.

*According to the American Cancer Society, for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year relative survival rate is 20%, and the five-year rate is 5%. These low survival rates are attributable to the fact that fewer than 10% of patients’ tumors are confined to the pancreas at the time of diagnosis; in most cases, the malignancy has already progressed to the point where surgical removal is impossible. Even for those with local disease (has not spread) the 5-year relative survival rate is only 16%.
To find out more information, donate to cancer research, or buy a nifty souvenir, please visit

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