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Pancreatic Cancer Overview

National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

An Introductory Guide to Learn About Pancreatic Cancer

A beginner’s guide to bring understanding about pancreatic cancer to caregivers, people at high risk and people who are newly diagnosed.
Although considered rare, pancreatic cancer may touch your life more than you realize. Get the latest information on risk factors, screening, diagnosis, treatment, complementary therapies, survivorship, and more.

Why Should I learn About Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic Cancer causes 7% of cancer-related deaths in the United States. This type of cancer has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of any major cancer, at only 10% combined. Sadly, many patients receive diagnoses too late. Distant cancer has a 5-year survivability of 3%. This means cancer has spread into other areas of the body.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for pancreatic cancer in the United States for 2023 are:

How Does the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Help People Understand Pancreatic Cancer?

We believe that we simply must do better. We work to bring awareness and funding to pancreatic cancer research, testing, and therapy initiatives. The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation hosts awareness and fundraising events across the United States in support of these efforts.
We provide up to date resources and education through our blogs and social media content. We tell the stories of patients who have fought pancreatic cancer. You can read their stories in Our Warriors section of our website. The NPCF maintains a list of memorials as a way of showing solidarity and support to further our mission and vision.
Our mission is to provide unwavering support to families impacted by pancreatic cancer. The NPCF provides advocacy, resource sharing, and financial assistance to pancreatic cancer patients in need.

What Are the Benefits of Learning
About Pancreatic Cancer?

The signs and symptoms of this disease make it one of the hardest to diagnose. These symptoms are common to other digestive ailments. Thus making it easy to misdiagnose. Drug therapy is the prescribed treatment for many of these issues.
The prescribed treatment of gastric issues tends to focus on masking symptoms. Imaging tests are ordered only after drug therapy has proven insufficient. This current protocol can significantly delay diagnosis until the cancer has spread and becomes inoperable.

As of right now, there is no formal protocol for pancreatic cancer screening due to the expensive and invasive nature of testing.

Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve survivability beyond 5 years. The hardest part is getting the diagnosis.

About The Introductory Guide to
Pancreatic Cancer

Knowing about risk factors and the signs and symptoms can help someone at risk get testing and diagnosis sooner. It is our intention to help educate people who may be at high risk to be able to work with their caregivers. We want to help people navigate the current healthcare system.
We will cover the following topics in this introductory guide. We hope it helps people have more understanding of the disease and its diagnosis.

What You Will Learn

This guide will help you understand what pancreatic cancer is and how it can appear in other organs.

You will learn about the signs and symptoms and why it’s so difficult to diagnose early.

You will learn about the Risk Factors so you know what you can control and what you can’t in your daily life to minimize your risk.

You will Learn about testing so that if you feel you are at high risk you can more successfully navigate the current healthcare system.

You will learn about the standard treatments of pancreatic cancer and why it is so important that we push for better diagnosis options and protocols to be available.