All of these symptoms can have multiple other causes. Therefore, pancreatic cancer is often not diagnosed until it is advanced.
Each year about 37,680 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with this condition, and 34,290 die from the disease. In Europe more than 60,000 are diagnosed each year. Depending on the extent of the tumor at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is generally regarded as poor, with less than 5 percent of those diagnosed still alive five years after diagnosis, and complete remission still extremely rare. About 95 percent of pancreatic tumors are adenocarcinomas. The remaining 5 percent include other tumors of the exocrine pancreas, acinar cell cancers, and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. These tumors have a completely different diagnostic and therapeutic profile, and generally a more favorable prognosis.