The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and the Woodman Tower in Omaha will glow purple today in honor of World Pancreatic Cancer Day. Unfortunately, this cancer has one of the lowest survival rates. Dr. Chandrakanth Are is a surgical oncologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and says research is priority for them to find proper treatment and a cure.
Dr. Are says that is so important as 80% of the patients he sees diagnosed with pancreatic cancer it is too late to do anything for them. He says, “We really don’t have a good screening tool for pancreatic cancer that is one. Two, it is so insidious it sits there until it presents and when it does it is usually too late in the 80%. And the third one which is a big drawback with pancreatic cancer is even if you have stage one pancreatic cancer where the lesion is less than one centimeter, the outcome is just as bad.”
Dr. Are says in the last 15 to 20 years there has been one new drug come out along with a few combinations but nothing close to the big drug discovery that will defeat it. He says unless we hit early detection and effective drugs that target the cancer it will be hard to see that pendulum swing in any positive way.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any other cancer and every day more than 1,000 people in the world are diagnosed.