Pancreatic cancer mortality rates in the European Union (EU) increased by 5 per cent between 1990 and 2016, a report by United European Gastroenterology (UEG) reveals. This is the highest increase in any of the EU's top five cancer killers.
'Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe', published to coincide with World Pancreatic Cancer Day today (15 November), examines the past and current state of pancreatic cancer care and treatment, as well as future prospects, such as targeting the microbiome.
The report estimates that pancreatic cancer is responsible for more than 95,000 EU deaths every year. The disease is now the EU’s third leading cause of cancer-related death, behind lung and colorectal cancer. Median survival from the point of diagnosis is 4.6 months, with patients losing 98 per cent of their healthy life expectancy. Just 3 per cent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for five years. It is the only cancer that has seen no improvement in survival in 40 years.
Despite these figures, pancreatic cancer receives less than 2 per cent of all cancer research funding in Europe. The report says this must change and coordinated efforts are needed at EU and country level to accelerate advances.