Survival Rate For Pancreatic Cancer Makes Gradual Yet Monumental Progress

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer was raised this week from nine to ten-percent. While that still means a devastating nine out of ten people who are diagnosed with that form of cancer won’t beat it, the single-percentage uptick represents significant progress.

Pam Anderson is one of the rare Iowa survivors, who volunteers with the Des Moines affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The survival rate for pancreatic cancer remains the lowest of all cancers, but reaching the ten-percent milestone is quite encouraging, according to Anderson, who says people in her circle are overjoyed.

Statistics find about 580 Iowans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and 430 of them will die from it. It’s the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States and it’s expected to become the second-leading cause of cancer death this year. Knowing she’s among the very fortunate few, Anderson says being a pancreatic cancer survivor has granted her a new perspective.

The fast-moving disease is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be vague and are often ignored until it’s too late. They include abdominal pain and back pain, changes in stool, yellowing skin, weight loss, appetite loss, and a feeling of being full after only eating a little food.

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Image courtesy of Radio Iowa.

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