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Pancreatic Cancer: Know Your Family, Know Your Risk

Pancreatic Cancer: Know Your Family, Know Your Risk

This is a partnered post with Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. All views and text are mine. 

According to the American Cancer Society, about 53,670 people (27,970 men and 25,700 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. About 43,090 people (22,300 men and 20,790 women) will die of pancreatic cancer, and that it accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the US and about 7% of all cancer deaths.

If you have been recently diagnosed or have had a family member diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the impact can be life-altering on survivors and families.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers and its impact is personal. Begin the path to early detection today! For this reason, I’m happy to have partnered with Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation to help increase awareness about pancreatic cancer, to discuss preventative measures and the importance of early detection.

Before I go on, let me just give you a few more facts and figures about pancreatic cancer:

Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers and about 7 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. Early detection of this deadly disease is very important!

1. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers and its impact is personal.

  • The timeframe from diagnosis to death is often very short, with little warning, creating a life-altering impact on survivors and families. The need for early detection is immediate and urgent.
  • In 2016, pancreatic cancer became the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., surpassing breast cancer.
  • Only lung cancer and colon cancer lead to more deaths per year than pancreatic cancer. o Pancreatic cancer has a 5-year survival rate of only 7 percent, the worst of all major cancers.
  • Prostate cancer and breast cancer both have 5-year survival rates over 90 percent. Colon cancer’s 5-year survival rate is 65 percent, and lung cancer’s 54 percent.
  • The 1-year survival rate following diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is only 29 percent.
  • Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers and about 7 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

2. Early detection of pancreatic cancer can significantly impact survival rates for this deadly disease.

  • Pancreatic cancer is treatable when caught early. The vast majority of cases are not diagnosed until too late.
  • The 5-year survival rate approaches 25 percent if cancers are surgically removed while they are still small and have not spread to the lymph nodes.

3. It is vital for everyone to know their family history to understand their risk for pancreatic cancer as a first step to early detection.

  • Family history is a risk factor of pancreatic cancer. In some families, the high-risk is due to inherited syndromes passed from parent to child. Changes in the genes that cause some inherited syndromes can be found by genetic testing

4. Those with a history of pancreatic cancer in the immediate family should consider beginning the path to early detection by talking to a doctor or genetic counselor.

  • If there is any pancreatic cancer in your immediate family, a certified genetic counselor can help you understand your risk.
  • Knowing if you are at high risk can help you and your doctor decide if you should have tests to look for pancreatic cancer early, when it might be easier to treat.

About the It’s Personal: Know Your Family, Know Your Risk Campaign

In hopes of detecting pancreatic cancer in its earliest stages, the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation has created this campaign so that people will do two things:

The Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation has created the "Know Your Family, Know Your Risk" campaign to help increase awareness and about pancreatic cancer, to discuss preventative measures and the importance of early detection.

1. Know Your Family

  • If you do not already know the medical histories of those in your immediate family, talk to your family to identify any history of pancreatic cancer.
  • Visit www.KnowMyRisk.org to download a “know your family” worksheet of questions to talk through with immediate family members.
  • About 10 to 20 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have a family history that includes the disease.

2. Know Your Risk

  • Once you’ve determined if there is a history of pancreatic cancer in your family, one should consider meeting with a certified genetic counselor to further determine that risk.
  • Visit www.KnowMyRisk.org to locate a certified genetic counselor near you with the online finder.

To learn more about the foundation and their initiatives, fundraising events, and more, please visit www.RolfeFoundation.org.

You can also follow them on their social media channels below for the latest news and updates:

Jocelyn Brown
Jocelyn Brown

A former school teacher, Jocelyn Brown created Hip Mama’s Place in 2007. Her motto for this blog is: get inspired, create and share! Jocelyn loves sharing about food and recipes, crafts, DIY projects and her random travels with her family. She also loves all things social media, but her latest obsession is Instagram.

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  1. September 14, 2017 / 5:31 pm

    My family has a terrible medical history. I’m always extra cautious as an adult. Will have to check out knowmyrisk. It can never hurt right?!

  2. September 14, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    This is one of the scariest cancers we’ve had to deal with in our family. We’ve lost 2 family members and both were end stage when it was caught.

  3. Gabriel Bregg
    September 13, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    So much to look our for an be aware of. This isn’t one of the ones my family has a history with but you need to know it all.

  4. September 13, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    Thank you for the info. It is so important to know your family history so you’ll be aware of your risks and other factors.

  5. Adaleta
    September 12, 2017 / 11:51 pm

    This is so smart, knowing the risks and knowing your family is always so important to be safe and watch everyones health.

  6. adriana
    September 12, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    This is such important information for everyone to know! It’s great to know off the bat what you’re dealing with, the risks, and all of that. Very glad you wrote this!

  7. September 12, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    The know your risk website is a great resource. I didn’t know about it. Thanks for sharing.

  8. September 12, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    This is some really good information to know about! I have not known anyone with this type of cancer, very scary.

  9. Kathy
    September 12, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    You’ve got some great info here. I’m glad you’re sharing more about this. I think everyone should be more aware of the types of cancer.

  10. September 12, 2017 / 9:19 am

    I love that you dedicated an entire blog post to pancreatic cancer and it’s risks! I feel like it often gets overlooked in the realm of cancers and isn’t talked about as often as others. Thanks!

  11. September 12, 2017 / 9:18 am

    This is all great info about pancreatic cancer. I feel like it’s often overlooked in the realm of cancers but I’m glad you tool the time to post about it on your blog!

  12. September 12, 2017 / 7:08 am

    I had no idea that pancreatic cancer affected so many people. Thank-you for the important reminder to be vigilant and find out your families history.

  13. September 12, 2017 / 1:34 am

    This is such an informative post. I normally think of Breast cancer or something more talked about as being the worst cancer. I will have to check out the links and see if my family is safe!

  14. Claudia Krusch
    September 12, 2017 / 12:04 am

    It is so important to know your family history. I had a friend that passed away from pancreatic cancer. It was so terrible to see her suffer so much.

  15. September 11, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    I think getting to know family histories is so important for your health and your partner’s + kids’ health. Thank you for providing such important information.

  16. September 11, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    I had no idea pancreatic cancer was the most deadly!! As a type 1 diabetic, my pancreas does not even WORK so if I got this it would be a double whammy! Cancer sucks! I am so sorry for those going through it.

  17. September 11, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    Honestly, I strongly hate Cancer. Prevention really does need to be focused on. Early detection can make a huge difference. These are such important tips to keep in mind. Thank you so much!

  18. September 11, 2017 / 6:31 pm

    I truly hate cancer. I do agree that prevention should be the focus. If we are able to detect early, we can increase our chances of living full lives. Thanks for sharing these tips! It’s very important.

  19. September 11, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    This is a ton of great information. Knowing family history is important for so so many reasons, and cancer is one of those reasons.

  20. September 11, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    This is great information. I have no idea if anyone in my family would have pancreatic cancer, as we have been estranged for a long time now. But we will definitely look into it on my husband’s side of the family.

  21. September 11, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    This is such important information! Pancreatic cancer is a beast, and I have seen it far too often in my life, either in people I know personally or in people I know of.

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