Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rates

The 5-year relative survival rates compare people with the same type and stage of cancer to the general population who do not have cancer. If the 5-year survival rate is, for example, 20%, that means that people who have a specific type of cancer are 20% as likely as healthy people to live for the next 5 years after being diagnosed.

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The American Cancer Society uses the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer. SEER tracks 5-year relative survival rates for pancreatic cancer in the US based on how far the cancer has spread. Unlike the regular stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, etc groupings, SEER classifies cancer according to the following stages:

LocalizedNo signs of the cancer spreading outside the pancreas
RegionalCancer has spread outside the pancreas to nearby lymph nodes and other structures
DistantCancer has spread to other organs of the body and distant lymph nodes

The following are the 5-year relative survival rates for pancreatic cancer based on data from 2013-2019:

Localized44%
Regional16%
Distant3%
All SEER stages combined13%

It is important to consider the following when interpreting these numbers:

  • These numbers only apply to the stages when the cancer was first diagnosed, not when the cancer grows, spread, or returns after treatment
  • These numbers do not take into account your overall health, genetics, personal circumstances, and treatment response. Those details can affect your survival and recovery outlook.
  • Treatments have improved over time and people today have a better outlook for recovery than people diagnosed in the past.

If cancer is caught early, you can expect a better survival and recovery rate. There can be a great difference between relative survival rates when the diagnosis is at the localized stage versus the regional and advanced stages.

While there are no standard screening protocols for low to average-risk individuals for pancreatic cancer, there are tools and tests available that can help doctors spot them early. This is particularly important, especially if a patient is already exhibiting symptoms. While pancreatic cancer is difficult to spot early, if you are at high risk for the disease with known hereditary risk factors and chronic pancreatitis, your doctor should recommend testing. Ignoring the risks can be fatal, especially since the relative survival rates drop from 44% to just 16% from the localized to regional stage, and even lower to 3% in the distant stage.

Medical negligence cases are complex. No single two cases are similar. Not only do you have to consider the legal aspects, but you also need the help of qualified medical experts to evaluate your case. You don't have to go through this alone. If you or a loved one have suffered from a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis for your pancreatic cancer in the state of New York, and are now facing decreased chances of survival, contact the Porter Law Group. Our team of experienced lawyers and qualified medical experts can help you navigate the intricacies of medical malpractice claims.

Doctors have a responsibility to provide adequate care and promptly examine all possible options thoroughly with their patients. If not, they could be guilty of medical negligence.

There are three types of negligence:

Incorrect diagnosis

This is when a medical provider diagnoses a cancer patient with a disease other than cancer. This results in a patient not only losing resources for undergoing the wrong treatments but also in a delay in the necessary cancer treatment, which actively worsens the condition.

Delayed diagnosis

This is when a healthcare provider fails to diagnose cancer in its early stages. It can lead to the patient requiring more intense treatment options. This not only increases the cost but also subjects the patient to more pain and potential side effects that would have been unnecessary had the cancer been detected earlier. This can be the case with treatments such as the common radiation therapy.

False positive diagnosis

This is when a patient who does not have cancer is improperly diagnosed with cancer. This can lead to a patient undergoing surgery and radiation therapy. These are both costly and potentially life-threatening treatments, especially when they didn’t even have the disease to begin with.

If you or a loved one believe your healthcare provider misdiagnosed or delayed your pancreatic cancer diagnosis, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain, discomfort, and decreased chances of survival.

Contact us at 833-PORTER9, or e-mail us at info@porterlawteam.com to discuss the details of our experience representing other clients and the results we were able to obtain in the past for clients who also suffered from cancer. In many ways, our results speak for themselves, and we will stand ready to help you and your family in your time of greatest need.

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Michael S. Porter
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