HOW CRUCIAL IS EARLY DISCOVERY OF PANCREATIC CANCER?

HOW CRUCIAL IS EARLY DETECTION OF PANCREATIC CANCER?

Tony Subia
January 2016

The Stage at which a particular cancer is diagnosed determines the extent of cancer within the body. The diagnosed stage also determines treatment options and influences projected average duration of expected survival. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest 5-year survival of all cancers.

When pancreas cancer is diagnosed while still confined to the pancreas it is usually operative and treatments are considered “Curative”. Once the cancer has metastasized (spread) to other organs it becomes inoperable. Any subsequent treatments are considered as “Palliative Care” which only intends to control symptoms and extend quality of life. Projected average 5-year survival rates vary depending upon the diagnosed stage.

Percent of Diagnosed Cases By Stage

9% Localized. Typically described as Stage 1. Confined to the pancreas.
28% Regional. Has spread to regional lymph nodes.
53% Distant. Described as Stage 4. Has metastasized to distant organs.
10% Unstaged.

5-Year Average Survival Rate By Diagnosed Stage

27.1% Localized. Is confined to pancreas.
10.7% Regional. Spread to regional lymph nodes.
2.4% Distant. Metastasized to distant organs.

Unfortunately only about 9% of cases are detected early at stage 1. There are several reasons why the early diagnosis percentage is so low.

1. Early pancreatic cancer symptoms are most often not obvious until it has spread.
2. Patients fail to pay serious attention to the symptoms.
3. Most people are not aware of the risk factors of pancreatic cancer.
4. It was misdiagnosed and not discovered until it is too late for surgical removal.
5. Some general practitioners often assume minor symptoms are caused by minor situations such as acid reflux, minor ulcers or back issues.

THIS IS A STATISTIC THAT IS RARELY MENTIONED OR TOLD. There is an over 11-Fold difference in the 5-year survival rate when pancreatic cancer is diagnosed at Stage 1 (27.1%) versus Stage 4 (2.4%). That is a staggering difference in survival rate that few people are aware.

Why are they not aware? Because the majority of articles on the topic only reference “An Average 5-Year Survival Rate of 6-7%” which combines all stages pancreatic cancer together rather than isolating survival rate by specific stage.

It is So Crucial To Become Your Own Best Advocate

Take control for your own protection. A patient’s chance of surviving for 5 years is over 11 times greater when detected early at Stage 1 versus Stage 4. Knowledge, vigilance, and expedient action is crucial to survival and extended quality life. Take 7 Major Steps To Protect Yourself.

1. Practice a healthy lifestyle.
2. Know the risk factors.
3. Know the symptoms.
4. Don’t trust an initial diagnosis. Get second opinions.
5. If cancer runs in your family, get genetically checked.
6. If you have multiple risk factors and multiple symptoms, consult your doctor.
7. Be attentive, vigilant. diligent and assertive.

If symptoms are severe or you have adult onset Type 2 Diabetes, demand an imaging test. Type 2 Diabetes is both a cause and a symptom of pancreatic cancer. This is particularly important if you are a smoker. Family history of cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, and smoking are considered the major controllable risk factors of getting pancreatic cancer.

References and Other Related Information

Pancreas Cancer Stage Descriptions and Survival Rates
Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
More Information About Pancreas Cancer Staging
Other Pancreatic Cancer Statistics
Pancreatic Cancer Treatments and Outcomes

Disclaimer: Information provided is for informative and awareness purpose only and is not a substitute for expert medical advice and care. Always consult and get advice form a medical professional and/or healthcare provider.
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