The Truth About Pancreatic Cancer

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1.1 Pancreatic cancer Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal disease that is ranked fourth among cancer-related deaths in Norway. 31 Yearly 600-650 new cases are detected, corresponding to 7 per 100 000 inhabitant. The survival rate five years after diagnosis is very low, at only 5 %. 19 Approximately 90 % of patients diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer survive less than one year, with a median survival of 5-6 months. The high mortality rate is connected to late diagnosis, early metastasis and poor response to chemo- and radiotherapy. 34 Pancreatic cancer can be inherited, but 90 % of cases are considered sporadic. 19 The major histological type of pancreatic cancer is ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma which account for 80 % of the cases. 34 Acinar cell carcinoma and neuroendocrine tumors are minor histological types of the cancer. 1.1.1 Epidemiology and risk factors Pancreatic cancer is in Europe the seventh most frequent cancer, but is predicted to become the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. This makes pancreatic cancer one of the deadliest of all solid cancers. 34 Pancreatic cancer kills approximately 40.000 people per year in Europe, and over 30.000 people in the United States. 28 In the United States it has been observed that the age-adjusted incidence is higher in African American than in Caucasian Americans, and is higher for man then for women. Mainly old people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the disease is rare for people under 40 years. 28 The average age of diagnosis is 60 to 65 years, but the median age of diagnosis is as high as 73 years. 7 Several risk factors have been identified for pancreatic cancer. Cigarette smoking has been shown to double the risk of pancreatic cancer. 26 In fact a... ... middle of paper ... ...Renschler, 'Increased Survival in Pancreatic Cancer with Nab-Paclitaxel Plus Gemcitabine', N Engl J Med, 369 (2013), 1691-703. 39 M. S. Wicha, and D. F. Hayes, 'Circulating Tumor Cells: Not All Detected Cells Are Bad and Not All Bad Cells Are Detected', J Clin Oncol, 29 (2011), 1508-11. 40 M. Yu, S. Stott, M. Toner, S. Maheswaran, and D. A. Haber, 'Circulating Tumor Cells: Approaches to Isolation and Characterization', J Cell Biol, 192 (2011), 373-82. 41 M. Yu, D. T. Ting, S. L. Stott, B. S. Wittner, F. Ozsolak, S. Paul, J. C. Ciciliano, M. E. Smas, D. Winokur, A. J. Gilman, M. J. Ulman, K. Xega, G. Contino, B. Alagesan, B. W. Brannigan, P. M. Milos, D. P. Ryan, L. V. Sequist, N. Bardeesy, S. Ramaswamy, M. Toner, S. Maheswaran, and D. A. Haber, 'Rna Sequencing of Pancreatic Circulating Tumour Cells Implicates Wnt Signalling in Metastasis', Nature, 487 (2012), 510-3.

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