• Over 50,000 people in the U.S. receive the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas) annually; there are twice this number in Europe

• More than 40,000 Americans die annually due to pancreatic cancer

• Although there have been small improvements in survival duration in recent years, unlike many other cancers pancreatic cancer survival has tended to resist gain over the years

• Pancreatic cancer is now the third highest cause of cancer death in the U.S. (after colorectal and lung cancer)

• About 1% of all death in the U.S. for any reason is due to pancreatic cancer; probably 10% of the people that you know have lost someone important to them because of pancreatic cancer

• Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality of any of the other major cancers. Only about 8% of patients will live as long as 5 years

• The average life expectancy after diagnosis with advanced stage pancreatic cancer (about 85% of patients) with good treatment in the U.S. now appears to be approaching eight months

• The causes of pancreatic cancer are not well understood. Risk factors possibly include smoking, a family history of pancreatic cancer, obesity, race, diet, heavy drinking, pancreatitis, and recent onset diabetes. There is more information Here

• Pancreatic cancer in the early stages typically causes vague nonspecific symptoms. These symptoms and signs may include poor appetite, weight loss, abdominal or back pain, jaundice (yellowish eyes and skin, dark colored urine and/or light colored bowel movements) with or without itching, fatigue, nausea, and sometimes even depression

• Lack of a method for the earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is one major reason why the disease is so difficult. If it could be found earlier, for example, the treatment option for many or most pancreatic cancer would likely be surgery, which would go a long way toward making pancreatic cancer more like other cancers – with likely much better survival