Every day, more than 1,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of that, an estimated 985 will die from the disease. Additionally, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers, and in nearly every country, it is the only major cancer with a single-digit five-year survival rate (2-9 percent). In Ireland each year 518 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with 483 dying from the disease. In Ireland it has an 9% five year survival rate.  These stunning figures are not merely statistics, they represent family members, friends and colleagues on every corner of the globe.

Pancreatic Cancer has the lowest Survival rate of all major cancers and in Ireland the 5 year survival rate is just 9%.  We must do better.

Signs to watch out for:

There is currently no screening test or early detection method for pancreatic cancer, and though research is being conducted in these areas, knowing the symptoms and risks remains the key to early diagnosis. Research shows that patients diagnosed in time for surgery are more likely to live five years and beyond. Therefore, early diagnosis is vital.

Signs to watch out for include:

  • Painless jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine)
  • Significant and unexplained weight loss
  • New onset of persistent abdominal discomfort
  • Persistent dyspepsia or indigestion not alleviated by medication
  • Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full when eating
  • Unexplained back pain, often eased by sitting upright


Cookbook for Patients Suffering Weight Loss:

Breakthrough and University College Cork (UCC) have pubished The Nourishing Your Body during Pancreatic Cancer Treatment cookbook aimed at patients undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. This book is available free of charge to cancer patients throughout Ireland. A team of Oncologists, Dietitians and Chefs based in UCC and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), developed a cookbook with over 90 recipes.The team behind the cookbook include Dr. Aoife Ryan and Dr Eadaoin Ní Bhuachalla from UCC with input from Dr. Derek Power, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Cork and Mercy University Hospitals and Ms Jane Healy and Ms Anne O’Connor, lecturers in the Culinary Arts in CIT. Click here to order a copy of the book, which is free with a €5 donation requested to cover post and packaging.


Breakthrough’s Pancreatic Cancer’s Research:

Last year Breakthrough funded a new Pancreatic Research Fellowship which is investigating combining a new ‘modulating’ molecule which has the ability to stop pancreatic cancers from suppressing the human immune system with Breakthrough funded electroporation expertise and technology. The aim is to develop an exciting new combination therapy which would be an important step forward in our battle against this disease. To support Breakthrough’s research into treatments for pancreatic cancer click here.