Long-term survival of patients with pancreatic cancer is very low, and has not shown any significant improvement in the past 40 years since 1970s, according to Cancer Research UK.
While the treatment and survival rate of patients with cancer have dramatically improved since the past 40 years, pancreatic cancer survival has shown very little improvement in four decades. It has the lowest survival rate in 40 years with only three per cent of pancreatic cancer patients surviving for a maximum of five years after the diagnosis. Only 2 per cent is reported to have survived for five years in the early 70s.
Unlike other cancer, pancreatic cancer is more difficult to detect, and due to adequate and effective tests and treatments, most people suffering from the illness do not survive for more than a year after diagnosis. Cancer in the pancreas is the 10th most common cancer in the UK with nearly 8, 800 people being diagnosed with it each year. Out of this, almost 8,300 die from the dreadful disease.
In an effort to improve the survival rate of patients with pancreatic cancer, the Cancer Research UK plans to invest double the £6 million it spends on research into the disease each year, informed a spokesperson.
Throwing more light on the low survival rate of patients with pancreatic cancer, Professor Andrew Biankin, who is one of the scientists at Cancer Research UK's Beatson Institute at the University of Glasgow, said, "Pancreatic cancer has very few symptoms at first and I see far too many patients who, out of the blue, are told they may have just months or even weeks to live. We've been waiting too long for new drugs to treat the disease and there are very few options available for people with advanced forms of the disease. It's a situation that simply has to change and we can only do that by funding more high quality research and trials, to get treatments out of the lab and into patients as soon as possible." The institute is known to contribute massively towards the research of pancreatic cancer.