Pancreatic Cancer: Prognosis and Life Expectancy

Pancreatic Cancer: Prognosis and Life Expectancy


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Stage by Stage Survival Rates of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a very dangerous disease that, if not treated properly, can lead to lethal consequences. That’s why survival rates are so important. On the basis of them you can find out what number of people that have similar type and stage of cancer are alive for particular period of time after they have been diagnosed with cancer. Keep in mind that usually this period of time amounts to 5 years.

However, note that the information provided doesn’t give you any guarantee on how long you’ll live. It’s more about your complete understanding of to what degree your treatment will be successful. Here it’s absolutely up to you whether you want to know it or not. Some people want to be in the know about everything that has something to do with their illness meanwhile others don’t. Anyway, it’s not obligatory.

What Does a 5-year Survival Rate Mean?

According to the statistics on every particular type and stage of cancer, the survival rates amount to not more than 5 years. However, the majority of people with this diagnosis manage to auspiciously live much longer. As for the rate itself, it refers only to those patients who manage to live at least 5 years after the diagnosis is made.

For instance, a survival rate that amounts to 70% means that there are 70 out 100 people that stay alive 5 years after cancer was detected in their case. Still, don’t forget about the key point here confirming that the majority of the patients who have cancer go on living for much longer than the mentioned 5 years.

At the same time, bear in your mind one other fact – the 5-year survival rate is approximate. The situation in your case may be either worse or better depending on a number of particular to you factors and your overall condition.

Meaning and Importance of the Stages

Once your doctor has defined the stage of cancer you have, he or she can prescribe the most efficient drugs and therapy in accordance with the peculiarities of your case. Besides, based on the stage your doctor and cancer care team see how advanced cancer is and whether it has already affected any other organs in your body. Apart from what is mentioned, defining the stage of cancer is advantageous from the point of view of your personal prognosis your doctor makes for your future life.

Overall, there are 4 stages of pancreatic cancer. Stage 0 means that pancreatic cancer has only affected the top layers of the pancreatic duct implying that there are no areas or organs affected by it outside the pancreas. As for stage 4 that is considered to be the most advanced, the areas that are subject to the cancer detrimental influence include not only the area beyond the pancreas, but distant locations of your organism as well. This means that apart from the area where the tumor is located tissues, blood vessels, nerves and other organs are also now involved. For this process doctors have a special term – “metastasis”.

Prognosis for Future in Accordance With the Stage You Have

Pancreatic Cancer Life Expectancy

Your personal prognosis may vary from either a positive one or to quite negative one. It is made on the basis of an abundant information on people who have been diagnosed with the same cancer. In case you want to know about it, you are strongly recommended to talk its details over with your doctor so that to fully understand what may happen to you and keep the course of the disease under control.

Your personal future prognosis is made according to a 5-year survival rate. In the majority of cases, survival rates don’t provide you with the information further than 5 years pointing out only numbers of people who carry on with their life for 5 years after the diagnosis was made. Anyway, you are to always keep in your mind the fact that many of cancer patients live much a much longer life than only 5 years.

Survival Rates in Case of Pancreatic Cancer in Accordance With its Stage

  • Stage 1A – 14%
  • Stage 1B – 12%
  • Stage 2A – 7%
  • Stage 2B – 5%
  • Stage 3 – 3%
  • Stage 4 – 1%

Survival Rates in Case a Surgical Operation Was Carried Out

  • Stage 1 – 61%
  • Stage 2 – 52%
  • Stage 3 – 41%
  • Stage 4 – 16%

The crux of the matter here is that this statistics is made on the base of technologies and drugs that were up-to-date and used 5 years ago. Since every year marks a huge improvement in this area, people who are suffering from pancreatic cancer and undergoing necessary treatment at present may not be that much worried. That’s why it’s of paramount importance for you to talk each detail of the prognosis over with your doctor so that to get the knowledge of the meaning of the numbers given in it.

How Can Your Personal Prognosis for Future be Improved?

Presented survival rates refer only to previous years of treatment when the drugs and necessary technology wasn’t probably so efficient than at present. Remember that the process of drugs and survival rates goes on a continuous basis. Besides, there are various other factors that may considerably add to your prognosis.

They are as follows:

  • Your age;
  • Your overall state of health;
  • Your lifestyle;
  • Your attitude (towards the disease and the situation in general);
  • Your attitude to the treatment process.

Of course, you shouldn’t simply sit and wait for a miracle to happen while undergoing the process of treatment. You are to take an initiative and consult with your doctor that can give you a number of good tips on how to improve your prognosis (if there is a need). All this has only one aim – for you to live a healthy life to the fullest while keeping everything under control.

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