Investment needed to bring down pancreatic cancer death rates in Europe

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Researchers have called on European policymakers to make adequate resources available to tackle pancreatic cancer, a disease that is almost invariably fatal and where little progress has been made over the past 40 years.

In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU and UK for 2021, published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology [1] today (Monday), researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), a professor at the University of Milan (Italy), say that pancreatic death rates are predicted to remain approximately stable for men, but continue to rise in women in most EU countries.

The researchers predict that 42,300 and 5,000 men in the EU and UK respectively will die from pancreatic cancer by the end of this year. After adjusting for differences in age distribution in the population, the age standardised rate (ASR) of deaths in men will be eight per 100,000 and 6.5 per 100,000 in the EU and UK respectively this year [2]. This represents a 0.8% decline in death rates since 2015. Among women, six per 100,000 are predicted to die from the disease in the EU, representing a 0.6% increase since 2015. In the UK, five women per 100,000 are predicted to die, representing a 4% decline in the death rate.

In contrast, the researchers predict that in nine out of ten of the other major cancers death rates will decline by 7% in men and 5% in women between 2015 and 2021 in most EU countries and the UK…

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