EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — For the first time ever, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer has reached double digits.
The American Cancer Society released the latest numbers on Wednesday, which show the five-year survival rate now stands at 10 percent.
In 2011, the Pancreatic Action Network set a goal to double the survival rate by 2020.
At the time, the survival rate stood at 6 percent. While it hasn’t doubled the survival rate, the network says it is still a tremendous milestone.
“In 2020, we expect that number to drop to about 170 people and truly we attribute that to the significant strides made in cancer research in pancreatic cancer,” Robert Dulski said.
Robert Dulski is the government relations director for Rhode Island’s Cancer Action Network.
He says the new report looked at cancer mortality rates over a period of twenty-six years, beginning in 1991, the peak year for cancer diagnosis.
In that time, there has been a 29 percent decrease in mortality rates linked to cancer. This means 2.9 million Americans diagnosed with cancer have survived.
“We are really excited to see that there is progress being made, but we’re still very far from over crossing the finish line from when no one has to suffer from pancreatic cancer or any types of cancer,” Dulski said.
In addition to pancreatic cancer, the report shows significant decreases in mortality rates for those battling lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.