Cancer shock: survival rate much lower that thought
Just 3% of people with the most common type of pancreatic cancer will still be alive after five years
The survival rate for the most common type of pancreatic cancer is half as good as previously thought, a major new study has shown.
Just 3% of people with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which affects 95% of patients, will still be alive after five years, according to new research.
A three year study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on behalf of Pancreatic Cancer UK found that the true figures have been masked because they are published collectively with another type called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours, or PNET, which has a far higher survival rate.
The most recent survival statistics for England show that less than 7% of patients overall will live for five years or more, but the new research shows fewer than half will survive.Pancreatic Cancer UK said the new survival rate was unacceptable, and has called for greater investment in research funding.
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. 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.”
The charity is also calling for data on pancreatic cancer to be broken down by type in addition to the overall figures about the disease from now on, to allow a more accurate picture of the disease.
One last Christmas
Joanne Smith, 39, of Kingston, Hull, lost her mother, Sue Smith, to cancer within five months of her diagnosis.
“We saw our mum deteriorate very quickly and she underwent two rounds of chemotherapy, but that was quickly stopped as she was too sick to continue. So it was decided it would be better to manage her symptoms rather than continue with treatment.“We were very lucky to have one last Christmas with mum, but unfortunately this is not the case for many families affected by pancreatic cancer. Change just can’t come soon enough for families facing this dreadful disease.”
Pancreatic Cancer UK’s study looked at the survival of all adults diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in England between 2010 and 2013. The full results of the study are set to be published in a journal at a later date.
– © The Daily Telegraph