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Pancreatic cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for pancreatic cancer by age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data by stage at diagnosis and geography.  

Find out more about the counting and coding of this data.

One-, five- and ten-year survival

22% of men survive pancreatic cancer for at least one year, and this is predicted to fall to 4% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Table 3.1).1 Survival for women is similar, with 20% surviving for one year or more, and 3% predicted to survive for at least five years.

Table 3.1: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

1-Year Survival (%) 5-Year Survival (%) 10-Year Survival (%)
Men Net Survival 21.6 3.5 1.1
95% LCL 20.6 1.7 0.1
95% UCL 22.5 6.5 6.5
Women Net Survival 20.1 3.1 1.1
95% LCL 19.1 1.3 0.1
95% UCL 21.2 6.2 6.4
Adults Net Survival 20.8 3.3 1.1
95% LCL 20.2 1.9 0.2
95% UCL 21.5 5.3 4.2

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95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits
Five- and ten-year survival is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Pancreatic cancer survival gradually continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis. Just 1% of men and women are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.1).1 Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for pancreatic cancer ranks lowest overall.

Figure 3.1: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Net Survival up to Ten Years after Diagnosis, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

surv_curve_pancreas.swf

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Survival for pancreatic cancer is reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland,2,3 though it is difficult to make survival comparisons between countries due to different methodologies and criteria for including patients in analyses. An analysis of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during 1995-2009 suggests one-year relative survival is similar in England, Wales and Scotland.4

section reviewed 08/12/14
section updated 08/12/14

By age

Five-year survival for pancreatic cancer is highest in the youngest men and women and decreases with increasing age. Five-year net survival in men ranges from 14% in 15-49 year-olds to 2% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in England during 2007-2011 (Figure 3.2).5 In women, five-year survival ranges from 24% to 2% in the same age groups. Five-year survival is significantly higher in women compared with men in the 15-49 age group.

Figure 3.2: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2007-2011

surv_5yr_age_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (42KB) PPT (123KB) PDF (43KB)

section reviewed 08/12/14
section updated 08/12/14

Trends over time

One-year age-standardised net survival for pancreatic cancer in men has increased from 10% during 1971-1972 to 22% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 11 percentage points (Figure 3.3).1 In women, one-year survival has increased from 11% to 20% over the same time period (a difference of 9 percentage points).

Figure 3.3: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_1yr_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (54KB)

Unlike the majority of cancers, five- and ten-year survival for pancreatic cancer has not shown much improvement since the early 1970s. In men and women, five-year age-standardised net survival for pancreatic cancer has not increased significantly between 1971-1972 and 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.4).1

Figure 3.4: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_5yr_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (54KB)

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ten-year survival has followed the same trend as five-year survival since the early 1970s, with no significant increase in either men or women between 1971-1972 and 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.5).1 Overall, only 1% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Figure 3.5: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales 1971-2011

surv_10yr_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (53KB)

Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

section reviewed 08/12/14
section updated 08/12/14

By stage at diagnosis

Median survival following surgical resection for pancreatic cancer is of the order of 11-20 months. The five-year survival ranges from 7-25%. 6,7 Patients with irresectable locally advanced disease (Stage III) have a median survival of 6-11 months.8 Patients who have metastatic disease have a median survival of only 2-6 months.9

section reviewed 11/06/12
section updated 11/06/12

In Europe

The most recent five-year survival data for 1995-1999 show England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are slightly below the average for Europe (5%), while Wales is around the European average.10 Across the European countries, five-year survival ranges from 2% to 9%. However, as with international incidence estimates, differing data collection practices throughout Europe may contribute to the ranking of individual countries.

section reviewed 11/06/12
section updated 11/06/12

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References for pancreatic cancer survival

  1. Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Personal communication, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
  4. National Cancer Intelligence Network. NCIN Data Briefing: One-year relative survival rates for pancreatic cancer in Great Britain, 1995-2009. London: NCIN; 2014.
  5. Office for National Statistics. Statistical Bulletin: Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2007-2011 and followed up to 2012. Newport: ONS; 2013.
  6. Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service (NYCRIS). Key Sites Study: Pancreas Report. Leeds: NYCRIS; 2000.
  7. Richter A, Niedergethmann M, Sturm JW, et al. Long-term results of partial pancreaticoduodenectomy for ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head: 25-year experience. World J Surg 2003;27(3):324-9.
  8. Amikura K, Kobari M, Matsuno S. The time of occurrence of liver metastasis in carcinoma of the pancreas. Int J Pancreatol 1995;17(2):139-46.
  9. Kayahara M, Nagakawa T, Ueno K, et al. An evaluation of radical resection for pancreatic cancer based on the mode of recurrence as determined by autopsy and diagnostic imaging. Cancer 1993;72(7):2118-23.
  10. Sant M, Allemani C, Santaquilani M, et al. EUROCARE-4. Survival of cancer patients diagnosed in 1995-1999. Results and commentary. Eur J Cancer 2009;45:931-91.
Updated: 8 December 2014