Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis


Pancreatic Cancer Stage 1

Pancreatic Cancer | Eric’s Story

Stage 1 pancreatic cancer involves a tumor thats only in the pancreas. This stage is divided into two subcategories, depending on the size of the tumor:

  • Stage 1A. The tumor measures 2 cm or less.
  • Stage 1B. The tumor measures more than 2 cm but less than 4 cm.

Stage 1 pancreatic cancer typically doesnt cause any noticeable symptoms.

If detected at this stage, pancreatic cancer may be curable with surgery.

What Are The Survival Rates For Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

One year survival for stage 3 pancreatic cancer in England is 33%. This means that 33 people out of 100 are still alive after one year. Stage 3 cancer is usually locally advanced cancer but it may occasionally be borderline resectable cancer.

If you have locally advanced cancer, the cancer has started to spread, which means that surgery is not usually possible. You may be able to have chemotherapy on its own or together with radiotherapy . This aims to try to shrink the cancer and slow down its growth. For a small number of people, this treatment may shrink the cancer enough to make surgery to remove the cancer possible.

What Do One Year And Five Year Survival Mean

The terms one year survival and five year survival mean the proportion of people who are still alive one year and five years after their cancer diagnosis. It doesnt mean that this is how long you will live.

Five year survival for all pancreatic cancers in the UK is 7%. The survival statistics are low for pancreatic cancer compared to other cancers. This is partly because pancreatic cancer is hard to diagnose. Many people are diagnosed late, when the cancer has spread and surgery to remove the cancer is not possible.

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Are There Any New Treatments For Pancreatic Cancer

Yes, cancer therapy is constantly advancing and evolving with new drugs and treatments becoming available. Many new treatments are only initially available as part of a clinical trial with others only suitable to a small number of patients. Ask your treating specialist is these would be suitable for you.

How Common Is Pancreas Cancer

Stage III pancreatic cancer and the role of irreversible ...

Each year, over 3000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed in Australia. The risk of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by age 85 is 1 in 55 for Australian men and 1 in 74 for Australian women. Pancreas cancer is the tenth most common cancer but the fifth most common cause of cancer death and is predicted to be the second most common by 2020. The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is 8.7%

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What Is Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer occurs within the tissues of the pancreas, which is a vital endocrine organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas plays an essential role in digestion by producing enzymes that the body needs to digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

The pancreas also produces two important hormones: glucagon and insulin. These hormones are responsible for controlling glucose metabolism. Insulin helps cells metabolize glucose to make energy, and glucagon helps raise glucose levels when they are too low.

Due to the location of the pancreas, pancreatic cancer may be difficult to detect and is often diagnosed in more advanced stages of the disease.

According to the , pancreatic cancer makes up about 3 percent of cancer diagnoses in the United States and 7 percent of cancer deaths.

There are two main types of pancreatic cancer, based on the kind of cell they start in:

  • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma. This is the

Pancreatic cancer can also affect your blood sugar. In some cases, this might lead to diabetes .

Keep in mind that the above symptoms can be caused by a range of less-serious health concerns.

Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer Life Expectancy

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Relationship Between Prognosis And Treatment

Crino et al., reported that endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle biopsy demonstrated high diagnostic accuracy in evaluating solid pancreatic lesion independently, meanwhile, in patients with unresectable PC, tissue biopsy samples are the only available histological material. In addition, repeated EUS-FNB after neoadjuvant chemotherapy may detect therapy-induced molecular changes, for example, mutation in KRAS . Therefore, high-quality histological samples obtained by EUS-FNB will provide the basis for individualized treatment of PC .

A POPF is considered one of the common complications after pancreatic surgery, with an incidence of 3%-45% . A retrospective analysis showed that pancreatic fistula was an independent risk factor for peritoneal recurrence . Pancreatic fistula was an independent prognostic factor after multivariate analysis . There is a significant correlation between the occurrence of POPF and higher postoperative mortality. The main reason is that the leaked pancreatic juice erodes the surrounding tissues, causing complications such as secondary intra-abdominal hemorrhage and infection . Our results also show that patients with POPF had a significantly shorter mOS than those without POPF. High-quality pancreaticojejunostomy performed by professional pancreatic surgeons and routine use of somatostatin after surgery are the key to reducing POPF and improving survival ..

What Is Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer

Understanding stage IV pancreatic cancer

Stage 3 cancer means that the cancer has spread outside the pancreas. It may have spread to the large blood vessels near the pancreas, or to a number of lymph nodes.

This is usually locally advanced cancer but it may occasionally be borderline resectable cancer.

Diagram showing stage 3 pancreatic cancer

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What Are The Survival Rates For Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

One year survival for stage 4 pancreatic cancer in England is 9%. Stage 4 cancer is advanced or metastatic cancer. The cancer has spread outside the pancreas to other parts of the body, and surgery to remove it isnt possible. Advanced cancer can sometimes grow and spread quickly.

If you are well enough, you may be able to have chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy wont cure the cancer, but it may help you to live longer. It can also help treat your symptoms. You can also have other treatments to manage symptoms.

Remember that these statistics are general figures. Speak to your doctor about your own prognosis if you want to know this.

Treating Resectable Pancreatic Cancer

People whose pancreatic cancer is considered resectable may undergo one of three surgeries:

Whipple procedure : A surgeon removes the head of the pancreas and sometimes the body of the pancreas, parts of the stomach and small intestine, some lymph nodes, the gallbladder, and the common bile duct. The remaining organs are reconnected in a new way to allow digestion. The Whipple procedure is a difficult and complicated surgery. Surgeons and hospitals that do the most operations have the best results.

About half the time, once a surgeon sees inside the abdomen, pancreatic cancer that was thought to be resectable turns out to have spread, and thus be unresectable. The Whipple procedure is not completed in these cases.

Distal pancreatectomy: The tail and/or portion of the body of the pancreas are removed, but not the head. This surgery is uncommon for pancreatic cancer, because most tumors arising outside the head of the pancreas within the body or tail are unresectable.

Total pancreatectomy: The entire pancreas and the spleen are surgically removed. Although once considered useful, this operation is uncommon today.

Chemotherapy or radiation therapy or both can also be used in conjunction with surgery for resectable and unresectable pancreatic cancer in order to:

  • Shrink pancreatic cancer before surgery, improving the chances of resection
  • Prevent or delay pancreatic cancer from returning after surgery

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Pancreatic Cancer Stage 4

Stage 4 pancreatic cancer has spread beyond the original site to distant sites, like other organs, the brain, or bones.

Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at this late stage because it rarely causes symptoms until it has spread to other sites.

Symptoms you might experience at this stage include:

  • pain in the upper abdomen
  • pain in the back
  • depression

Stage 3 pancreatic cancer is difficult to cure, but treatments can help prevent the spread of the cancer and ease symptoms. These treatments may include:

The majority of people with this stage of the cancer will have a recurrence. Thats likely due to the fact that micrometastases, or small areas of undetectable cancer growth, have spread beyond the pancreas as the time of detection and arent removed during surgery.

How Is Pancreatic Cancer Treated

Stages of Pancreatic Cancer

Treatment will depend on how far the cancer has spread. It will also depend on where the cancer is, your age, your health and your personal preference.

It may include surgery, endoscopic treatment, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. Your doctor may suggest palliative care options to control the tumour and symptoms, make you comfortable and improve your quality of life instead of attempting to remove the tumour.

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Survival Analysis Of Patients With Or Without Popf After Radical Resection

Survival analysis was performed on 365 underwent radical resection. The overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of patients without POPF were 52.5%, 20.5%, and 12.9%, respectively, and the mOS was 13.2 months . The overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of patients with POPF were 28.6%, 5.7%, and 0%, respectively, and the mOS was 8.4 months . The difference was statistically significant .

Why Is Early Detection Important

Patients whose disease is diagnosed in its earlier stages have better outcomes. This is due to a greater likelihood that they are eligible for surgery.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and others are working to find pancreatic cancer earlier through:

  • Awareness of symptoms
  • Studies focused on biomarkers
  • Efforts to improve imaging techniques
  • Efforts to improve the identification and monitoring of people at higher risk for the disease

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Physical Status After Treatment

Getting the right nutrition and keeping physically active as much as possible under the circumstances can really impact how a patient tolerates the side effects of treatment and the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Younger patients tend to do better because they have fewer other conditions that may limit recovery, but even older patients can positively impact their prognosis by focusing on nutrition and exercise.

Talk to your doctor about what to expect after treatment and what you can do to get the best possible prognosis.

Potentially Curable If Caught Very Early

Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer

Despite the overall poor prognosis and the fact that the disease is mostly incurable, pancreatic cancer has the potential to be curable if caught very early. Up to 10 percent of patients who receive an early diagnosis become disease-free after treatment. For patients who are diagnosed before the tumor grows much or spreads, the average pancreatic cancer survival time is 3 to 3.5 years.

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Treatment Options For Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer

The treatment method for stage 3 pancreatic cancer patients is determined by the overall health of the patient. The most effective treatment during this stage is the Whipple procedure, which removes a portion of the pancreas, and the first part of the small intestine . Unfortunately, only 20% of pancreatic cancer patients are eligible for surgical resection. Extensive imaging tests are performed to ensure the cancer has not spread to distant sites.

The overall five-year survival rate for Stage 3 pancreatic cancer is between 3-12%. However, patients who are eligible for the Whipple procedure have a five-year survival rate of 25%. Other treatments for stage 3 pancreatic cancer are intended to ease symptoms and slow the growth/spread of the cancer, these treatments include:

  • Radiation therapies
  • Anti-cancer drugs such as chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapies through clinical trials


Borderline Resectable Pancreatic Cancer

Depending on the location of stage 2A, stage 2B and stage 3 pancreatic cancers, treatment often involves resection in combination with neoadjuvant treatment to shrink the tumor before surgery takes place. Borderline resectable pancreatic cancer has grown into nearby tissues, organs or a major blood vessel. Although it may be possible to remove the tumor, surgeons may not be able to extract all of the cancer via surgery. Adjuvant treatment via chemotherapy or radiation may be performed after surgery to help destroy remaining cancer cells.

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Treating Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

In locally advanced pancreatic cancer, surgery can’t remove the entire tumor. Since surgery to remove only part of the pancreatic cancer has been shown not to help, nonsurgical therapies are best.

Treatment consists of chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy. Either 5-FU or gemcitabine can extend life in people with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

What Is The Outlook For Pancreatic Cancer

stages of pancreatic cancer

Over the past decade, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients increased from 6% to 11%.2 There is an urgent need to improve survival even more. But this increase shows that progress is being made. Those five percentage points mean that 11 people out of 100, instead of six people out of 100, will be alive five years after their pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is working toward better treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients and ways to find the disease earlier. We are determined to improve patient outcomes today and into the future. Contact PanCAN Patient Services for resources, support and information.

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What Is The Treatment For Pancreatic Cancer

Treatment for pancreatic cancer includes one or more of the following:

  • Potentially curative surgery: used when tests suggest its possible to remove all the cancer
  • Whipple procedure : removes a cancer in the head of the pancreas.
  • Distal pancreatectomy: removes only the tail of the pancreas or the tail and a portion of the body of the pancreas, along with the spleen
  • Total pancreatectomy: removal of entire pancreas, as well as the gallbladder, part of the stomach and small intestine, and the spleen
  • Palliative surgery: used if the cancer is too widespread to be removed completely done to relieve symptoms or to prevent complications like a blocked bile duct or intestine
  • Stent placement to relieve a blocked bile duct
  • Ablation or embolization treatments
  • Ablation: used to destroy tumors, usually with extreme heat or cold
  • Works best for tumors no more than about 2 cm
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Ethanol ablation
  • Cryosurgery
  • Embolization
  • Arterial embolization
  • Chemoembolization (also known as trans-arterial chemoembolization or TACE
  • Radioembolization
  • The Relationship Between Prognosis And General Clinical Features

    Similar to some previous reports , we found that sex and age had no effect on the prognosis of patients with PC. The conclusion of whether diabetes affected the prognosis of PC was still inconsistent. A meta-analysis showed that patients with PC with diabetes had shorter survival time and more complications. However, Cheon et al., reported that patients with PC did show a significant difference in survival time regardless of whether they had diabetes, and those with high glycated hemoglobin level had a shorter survival time. In our study, we found that diabetes history was not associated with the prognosis of PC, which still need further detailed study.

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    How Is The Stage Determined

    The staging system used most often for pancreatic cancer is the AJCC TNM system, which is based on 3 key pieces of information:

    • The extent of the tumor : How large is the tumor and has it grown outside the pancreas into nearby blood vessels?
    • The spread to nearby lymph nodes: Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes? If so, how many of the lymph nodes have cancer?
    • The spread to distant sites : Has the cancer spread to distant lymph nodes or distant organs such as the liver, peritoneum , lungs or bones?

    The system described below is the most recent AJCC system, effective January 2018. It is used to stage most pancreatic cancers except for well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors , which have their own staging system.

    Numbers or letters after T, N, and M provide more details about each of these factors. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced. Once a persons T, N, and M categories have been determined, this information is combined in a process called stage grouping to assign an overall stage.

    Cancer staging can be complex. If you have any questions about your stage, please ask your doctor to explain it to you in a way you understand.

    New Radiation Therapy Techniques

    Is pancreatic cancer a death sentence?

    Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy : 3D-CRT can precisely target radiation to the areas where cancer cells may be located and therefore minimize side effects from radiation to normal structures such as the liver, stomach, and kidneys. Because many patients with advanced pancreatic cancer may develop areas of cancer cells in the liver, low-dose radiation therapy aimed at the entire liver has been used in an attempt to destroy these cancer cells.

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    Survival Rates For Pancreatic Cancer

    Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.

    Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Your doctor is familiar with your situation ask how these numbers may apply to you.

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