Pancreatic Cancer Life Expectancy

Pancreatic cancer is the twelfth common type of cancer in the United States, but it is the fourth leading cause of cancer death. In 2014, pancreatic cancer made up 2.8% of all new cancer cases, which is more than 46,000 people. It is estimated that over 39,000 pancreatic cancer victims will die in 2014. This basically means that the life expectancy is very slim, but there are some hope for those people that are diagnosed, during the early stages (seer.cancer.gov).

The main reason for these numbers is because this type of cancer is known as a “silent disease”, which means that signs and symptoms are not presented in the early stages.

 

Increasing Life Expectancy

 

Early detection is difficult with Pancreatic cancer, but if you are diagnosed, at Stage I, your survival rate will be higher. There are five stages of pancreatic cancer and these stages are further divided into A & B categories, which are based on the size of the tumor and whether or not it has metastasized.

 

– Stage 0 – Carcinoma cells are found in the lining of the pancreas or situ and may metastasize to the surrounding tissue.

– Stage I –   The cancer has not metastasized and the tumor is no larger than 2 cm.

– Stage IA-  The tumor is less than 2 cm in size.

– Stage IB-  The tumor is larger than 2 cm in size.

– Stage II –  The cancer has possibly metastasized to the nearby organs, tissue, and lymph nodes.

– Stage IIA- The cancer has metastasized to the nearby tissues and organs, but not the lymph nodes.

– Stage IIB- The cancer has metastasized to the lymph nodes, but may not have metastasized to the nearby tissue and organs.

– Stage III – The cancer has metastasized to the nearby, major blood vessels (portal vein, mesenteric artery, celiac axis, common hepatic artery), and may have metastasized to the lymph nodes.

– Stage IV- The cancer has metastasized to the distance organs and may have metastasized
to the nearby organs and lymph nodes.