A UK-based charity has warned that the long-term survival of patients suffering from pancreatic cancer has hardly improved in the last four decades.
Cancer Research UK is a charitable organization that aims to reduce the number of deaths caused by cancer. Cancer Research UK is also the largest independent cancer charity in the world and also conducts research and treatment of the deadly disease.
The cancer charity reveals that only about 3 percent of pancreatic cancer patients live for over five years after getting treatment. Cancer Research UK says that this is just a slight improvement when compared to early 1970's, when only 2 percent patients lived for more than five years after diagnosis.
The charity suggests that most of the pancreatic cancer cases go unnoticed. The absence of effective tests to find the disease at an early stage makes surgery highly unlikely when detected. Researchers say that a majority of the patients suffering from pancreatic cancer die just within one year of diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer does not show many symptoms and patients are told that they just have a few months or even just a few weeks to live when the disease is detected. Cancer Research UK says that this is not an ideal situation for patients and their family, and this has to change.
More funding is required for high-quality research and testing, which will get treatment for pancreatic cancer patients as swiftly as possible.
Currently, Cancer Research UK spends $6 million on pancreatic cancer research and the charity is estimating to increase the annual research funding by more than double in the next five years. The disease is getting priority in Cancer Research UK's five institutes across the country.
Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, says that it is shocking that there are still so many people who die every year due to pancreatic cancer. The charity is trying to infuse a fresh wave in its research work, which will enable scientists to detect the disease at an early stage and provide effective diagnosis.
Kumar indicates that more than 50 percent of all patients diagnosed with cancer survive for at least 10 years. However, it is not the same for pancreatic cancer patients.
"We won't stop until we can bring those kinds of results to all patients, regardless of their cancer type," says Kumar.