When you read articles about cancer, including pancreatic cancer, you will find the term “survival rate.” What does survival rate actually mean? No need to worry. Here, we will tell you about the survival rate of pancreatic cancer. Let’s start with the meaning of survival rate.
What Is a Survival Rate?
A survival rate tells you the number of cancer patients that are still alive at a given time. It is counted from the initial diagnosis of cancer and counted only the patients who have the same type and stage of cancer. A survival rate of cancer, regardless of whether it is one-year or five-year, can’t tell how long patient will live. It can only tell the likeliness of certain treatments to succeed.
Five-year cancer survival rates are one of the most commonly used statistics. And yes, this is used for pancreatic cancer as well. The 5 years do not indicate that the patient will only survive for 5 years top. It doesn’t mean that the patients die within 5 years, either. As a matter of fact, many patients live longer than 5 years.
So, what does it mean? Let’s use an example with five-year survival rate. The number of stage 4 pancreatic cancer survival rate is 1%. This means that 1 in 100 people with stage 4 pancreatic cancer lives longer than 5 years from the moment of diagnosis.
Pancreatic Cancer Five-year Survival Rates
There are 4 stages of pancreatic cancer, each has different survival rate. Here they are:
- Stage 4 pancreatic cancer survival rate is 1%
- Stage 3 pancreatic cancer survival rate is 3%
- Stage 2 pancreatic cancer is 7% (for type 2A) and 5% (for type 2B)
- Stage 1 pancreatic cancer is 14% (for type 1A) and 12% (for type 1B)
And these are the survival rate of NET pancreatic cancer treated with surgery:
- Stage 4 pancreatic cancer survival rate is 16%
- Stage 3 pancreatic cancer survival rate is 41%
- Stage 2 pancreatic cancer survival rate is 52%
- Stage 1 pancreatic cancer survival rate is 61%
NET pancreatic cancer is a rare type of pancreatic cancer and is different from more common pancreatic cancer. This is why the rates are different.
You may have noticed that these numbers are low for common pancreatic cancer. The reason behind this is because in most cases pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in its later stage. More often than not, pancreatic cancer is found after it has already spread to other parts of the body. As a result, treatment is more difficult and sometimes impossible due to the cancer spread.
What to Do with These Survival Rates?
Survival rates don’t (and can’t) tell how long a patient will live. Survival rates only show the chance of treatment to succeed. And that’s it. That is the only use of survival rates. Keep in mind that each individual is different and each cancer is different. Survival rates don’t count this fact.
What do you think about stage 4 pancreatic cancer survival rate? If you are diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, don’t be discouraged. These numbers come from people who were diagnosed between 1985 and 2004. It is a well-known fact that the survival rate of pancreatic cancer increases in the last 15 years. It is not a surprise since the treatments of pancreatic cancer advance significantly. Indeed. There is still hope.