close
Sunday March 03, 2024

'Pancreatic cancer rates among women rising'

Pancreatic cancer may not exhibit many symptoms, which delays diagnosis until an advanced stage, making treatment more difficult

By Web Desk
February 12, 2023
A woman lying in bed while undergoing treatment.— Pexels
A woman lying in bed while undergoing treatment.— Pexels

The pancreas, a gland in the abdomen that creates hormones like insulin and digestive enzymes, is impacted by pancreatic cancer. It may not exhibit many symptoms, which delays diagnosis until an advanced stage, making treatment more difficult.

According to recent data, men are thought to be somewhat more likely than women to develop pancreatic cancer, which makes up around 3% of all cancers in the US. It also causes around 7% of all cancer-related fatalities.

However, a recent nationwide study in the US indicated that pancreatic cancer rates are rising and are rising faster in women than in men. This study was published on February 10 in the journal Gastroenterology.

After examining data from the National Programme of Cancer Registries (NCPR) database from 2001 to 2018, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Cancer identified the worrying trend of pancreatic cancer rising in females. The database represented 64.5% of Americans.

After analysing the data, the researchers found 454,611 cases of pancreatic cancer.

They also found that both men and women were developing pancreatic cancer at higher rates. The rates among women under the age of 55 increased 2.4% more than those among men in the same age group. The statistics also revealed that young Black women had pancreatic cancer rates that were 2.23% higher than those of Black men of the same age.

Researchers discovered that mortality from pancreatic cancer declined in men while remaining unchanged in women.

The authors noticed that the rise in adenocarcinoma histological subtype, a more aggressive form of pancreatic cancer may contribute to the increase in rate.

People with prolonged abdominal pain may fear they have pancreatic cancer, but that's typically a sign of other conditions, according to a news release. However, people who have jaundice or unexplained weight loss should think about seeing their doctor because these symptoms could indicate pancreatic cancer or other dangerous problems.

"The data shows us a small increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer," said senior author Srinivas Gaddam, MD, associate director of Pancreatic Biliary Research at Cedars-Sinai in the news release. 

"And that awareness might refocus people on the need to stop smoking, reduce alcohol use, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and manage their weight. These lifestyle changes all help decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer."