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The prognosis and life expectancy for people with pancreatic cancer depends a great deal on the stage. Understand the stages, progression, and outlook.
By 2030, pancreatic cancer is projected to be the #2 cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Once pancreatic cancer has spread to other organs, surrounding lymph nodes, or other parts of the body, the average life expectancy is just three to six months.
The life expectancy for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is considered one of the lowest, since the disease is considered one of the ‘worst’ of the existing types of cancer. As of now, many medical resources pin the median survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients to be about three to five months, depending on the condition of the patient.
Sadly, the prognosis for untreated pancreatic cancer is about 3 ½ months, with life extending to an average of 8 months with good treatment. Keep in mind these are median numbers – meaning that 50% of patients fall below that number, but 50% live longer than those numbers.
End-of-Life Pancreatic Cancer Signs. Pancreatic cancer can be hard to initially detect because of its vague symptoms. However, with an estimated 56,770 new cases per year, unfortunately patients do experience distressing symptoms at end-of-life if not effectively treated.
Life Expectancy When Pancreatic Cancer Hits The Liver Pancreatic cancer is considered as a silent killer. The patient hardly knows that he is suffering from cancer. It
Map of leukemia mortality in black females in the U.S. 1950-94. Different types of cancer can vary wildly in their prognosis. While the stage of cancer at diagnosis is most relevant to the survival of an individual patient, the type of cancer suggests an overall survival rate of the population. The figures below are an overall reflection of mortality rates throughout the U.S. population. For example, those diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer have a much better outcome than those diagnosed with lung or stomach cancer. In most statistical records, cancers are grouped by location, although some cancers of the same location can have extremely variable survival rates depending on the type of cancer. For example, stage 1 pancreatic adenocarcinoma has a 5-year survival rate of 12%, while stage 1 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors have a 5-year survival rate of 61%. Between 2007 and 2013, the percentage of cancer patients alive within five years after cancer diagnosis are displayed in the table below. These figures represent all deaths, whether due to the cancer itself, or death from another cause in a person with cancer.Note: This is not a complete list of cancer mortality rates as published by the NCI. These figures are at least five years old and do not reflect recent advances in medicine that have improved the detection and treatments of cancer and their outcomes. Again, these are average death rates that should not be assumed to apply to individuals, whose prognoses will vary depending on age, sex, race, general health, swiftness of detection, type of treatment, progression of disease, and complicating factors. Type Survival Rate Oral Cancer 64.5% Lip cancer 90% Hypopharynx cancer 33% Esophageal cancer 19% Stomach cancer 30.6% Small intestine cancer 67.5% Colorectal cancer 64.9% Hepatic and bile duct cancer 17.6% Gallbladder cancer 18.2% Pancreatic cancer (all types) 8.2% Laryngeal cancer 60.7% Lung cancer (all types) 18.1% Mesothelioma 9% Tracheal cancer 52.9% Bone cancer (all types) 67.7% Soft tissue, not otherwise specified 64.4% Skin cancer (excluding basal and squamous) 91.7% Breast cancer 89.7% Breast cancer in situ 100% Uterine cancer 29.8%-82.7% Ovarian cancer 46.5% Cervical cancer 67.1% Prostate cancer 98.6% Testicular cancer 95.1% Bladder cancer 77.3% Renal cancer 74.1% Ocular cancer 82.7% Glioblastoma 4% Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma 0% Myeloma 49.6% Hodgkin's lymphoma 86.4% Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 71% Thyroid cancer 98.2% Leukemia (Acute lymphocytic) 68.2% Leukemia (Acute myelomonocytic) 24% Leukemia (Chronic lymphocytic) 83.2% Leukemia (Chronic myeloid) 66.9% While breast cancer in situ is not a true cancer (lacking the invasive nature of cancer), physicians often present the diagnosis of cancer to patients. In recent years, this has been controversial, as it artificially inflates the rates of breast cancer.
Cancer survival rates vary by the type of cancer, stage at diagnosis, treatment given and many other factors, including country. In general survival rates are improving, although more so for some cancers than others. Survival rate can be measured in several ways, median life expectancy having advantages over others in terms of meaning for people involved, rather than as an epidemiological measure. However, survival rates are currently often measured in terms of 5-year survival rates, which is the percentage of people who live at least five years after being diagnosed with cancer, and relative survival rates compare people with cancer to people in the overall population. Several types of cancer are associated with high survival rates, including breast, prostate, testicular and colon cancer. Brain and pancreatic cancers have much lower median survival rates which have not improved as dramatically over the last forty years. Indeed, pancreatic cancer has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers.Small cell lung cancer has a five-year survival rate of 4% according to Cancer Centers of America's Website.
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a cancer which develops from the lining of the stomach. Early symptoms may include heartburn, upper abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite. Later signs and symptoms may include weight loss, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, vomiting, difficulty swallowing and blood in the stool among others. The cancer may spread from the stomach to other parts of the body, particularly the liver, lungs, bones, lining of the abdomen and lymph nodes. The most common cause is infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which accounts for more than 60% of cases. Certain types of H. pylori have greater risks than others. Smoking, dietary factors such as pickled vegetables and obesity are other risk factors. About 10% of cases run in families, and between 1% and 3% of cases are due to genetic syndromes inherited from a person's parents such as hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. Most cases of stomach cancers are gastric carcinomas. This type can be divided into a number of subtypes. Lymphomas and mesenchymal tumors may also develop in the stomach. Most of the time, stomach cancer develops in stages over years. Diagnosis is usually by biopsy done during endoscopy. This is followed by medical imaging to determine if the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Japan and South Korea, two countries that have high rates of the disease, screen for stomach cancer. A Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of cancer as does the stopping of smoking. There is tentative evidence that treating H. pylori decreases the future risk. If cancer is treated early, many cases can be cured. Treatments may include some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy. If treated late, palliative care may be advised. Outcomes are often poor with a less than 10% five-year survival rate globally. This is largely because most people with the condition present with advanced disease. In the United States, five-year survival is 28%, while in South Korea it is over 65%, partly due to screening efforts. Globally, stomach cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer and the third leading cause of death from cancer, making up 7% of cases and 9% of deaths. In 2012, it newly occurred in 950,000 people and caused 723,000 deaths. Before the 1930s, in much of the world, including most Western developed countries, it was the most common cause of death from cancer. Rates of death have been decreasing in many areas of the world since then. This is believed to be due to the eating of less salted and pickled foods as a result of the development of refrigeration as a method of keeping food fresh. Stomach cancer occurs most commonly in East Asia and Eastern Europe. It occurs twice as often in males as in females.