Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor.1,2 It spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, making it a leading cause of cancer death.1
Symptom such as jaundice and weight loss, are rarely present in early stages of the disease making treatment of pancreatic cancer difficult and late diagnoses with limited options more likely.3 Due to the pancreas’ location deep within the abdomen, people with pancreatic cancer typically do not experience symptoms until it has spread to nearby organs.4 As the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer are non-specific and may not appear until the disease has spread to other sites, less than 20 percent of patients are diagnosed early enough to be eligible for surgery. Even with surgery, there is an 80 percent rate of recurrence.
Though it accounts for less than three percent of all cancer cases worldwide5, pancreatic cancer is nearly always fatal. It was the seventh leading cause of cancer deaths in 2012, and it is estimated that pancreatic cancer will become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide by 2030.6
Pancreatic cancer is a serious disease and we are committed to understanding our patients’ needs to delivering resources, support and transformative therapies to improve the lives of people around the globe.
The following organizations may be a resource for information and support for patients, families, and caregivers. Always speak with a physician or healthcare provider regarding any questions.