Cancer survival rates are usually discussed in terms of 5-year relative survival, which refers to the proportion of patients still alive five years after diagnosis. Keep in mind that statistics like these are based on large groups of people and cannot predict what might happen with an individual patient.
In the United States, national data shows that 9.3% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are alive after five years. Pancreatic cancer survival remains poor due to a number of factors, some of which include the lack of a reliable screening test for the general population and a high number of people with late-stage disease at diagnosis.
In addition, survival differs dramatically depending on the type of pancreatic cancer. For example, survival for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors is significantly better than pancreatic ductal adenosarcoma. Recent treatment advances have led to increased survival when all treatment options — including clinical trials — are properly considered.
At Roswell Park, we compare our survival data with data collected nationally by the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program. The graphs below compare survival rates of pancreas cancer patients treated at Roswell Park with the survival rates for pancreas cancer patients across the nation.