Science and Health

Pancreatic Cancer Could Be Second Most Deadly Cancer By 2030

New research suggests pancreatic and liver cancer will cause more deaths than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers in the coming decades.

Pancreatic Cancer Could Be Second Most Deadly Cancer By 2030
Flickr / Jason Eppink

By the year 2030, pancreatic and liver cancers will be the second and third deadliest cancers in the U.S., according to new research. 

"Pancreatic and liver cancers will jump to the second and third spots, surpassing breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. These estimates are due to changes in demographics." (Via WEAU

"Experts say pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat because it's located deep in the abdomen and tumors often spread early on in the disease." (Via KOB-TV) 

And a writer for Time echoes that, saying: "There are no strong, reliable ways to detect pancreatic tumors because the organ lies so deep inside the body. ... Most cases are not diagnosed until the advanced stages, when surgery and other treatments are no longer effective."

Pancreatic cancer got some heightened publicity in 2011 when Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died from a rare form of the disease. He was diagnosed in 2003. (Via ZDNet

In a 2011 article, Scientific American pointed out just how deadly the disease is and how Jobs was able to battle it for so long. "Most pancreatic cancers (53 percent) are diagnosed after they have spread—and those have an exceedingly low survival rate, with just 1.8 percent of patients living for more than five years after diagnosis. ... Jobs had a rare form of the cancer, known as neuroendocrine cancer, which grows more slowly and is easier to treat."

But Monday there was some good news out of the medical community studying pancreatic cancer. 

University Herald reports researchers from San Diego State University have found a swab of your mouth could help detect pancreatic cancer early. They say patients with the cancer had higher levels of two types of oral bacteria.

Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Researchers expect that to stay the same.