What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive form of cancer that develops in the tissues of the pancreas. Located in the abdomen behind the lower part of the stomach, the pancreas aids in digestion.
It contains both exocrine glands (which produce enzymes that help the body digest food) and endocrine glands (which produce hormones, including insulin, that help control blood sugar levels in the body).
Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers in the United States. In 2016, an estimated 53,070 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a 5 year survival rate in the single digits, at just 7 percent.
African-Americans have the highest incidence rate of pancreatic cancer, between 31 percent and 65 percent higher than the incidence rates for other racial/ethnic groups.
While overall cancer incidence and death rates are declining, the incidence and death rates for pancreatic cancer are increasing. Pancreatic cancer is projected to move past breast and colorectal cancer to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States around 2020.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadliest cancers, which is why the survivial rate is so low.