Pancreatic cancer deaths double

in News · 29-11-2019 01:00:00 · 3 Comments

Deaths from pancreatic cancer have more than doubled in Portugal in the last 25 years, according to a study by the Portuguese Society of Gastroenterology.

The study “25 years of increased pancreatic cancer mortality in Portugal” by gastroenterologists Pedro Marques da Costa and Rui Tato Marinho, concluded that the absolute number of deaths from the tumour increased from 701 in 1991 to 1,415 in 2015. In 2017, deaths totalled 1,535.

Almost all deaths (99 percent) occurred in people over 40-years-old, with the ‘maximum peak’ being between 75 and 79.

Mortality growth is currently most pronounced between the ages of 50 and 54, which may mean that if this trend continues in the near future, an increasing number of pancreatic cancer deaths could occur at an increasingly early age, the authors say.

According to the study, there are more deaths in men than in women (14.12 versus 8.88 per 100,000 inhabitants).

Specialists also warn of the existence of marked regional differences: the Azores and Alentejo (and to a lesser extent Madeira) have mortality rates, as well as an annual growth rate, about twice the national average.

“The high prevalence of risk factors such as active smoking and overweight in these regions may partly justify the asymmetries recorded”.


In fact pancreatic cancer is increasing all over the westernized world in the UK and in the United States France and Taiwan as well. The big factor seems to be obesity.
What's behind these trends? There are multiple intersecting factors at work. The rising rank in mortality is, in some ways, a good thing; it reflects advances in battling other malignancies. Better screening and treatment have meant that patients with other types of cancer—particularly breast, prostate and colon cancer—are living long enough to die of something else. Unfortunately, innovations such as immunotherapy have not worked well for pancreatic cancer, so along with liver cancer, it is causing an outsize and growing portion of cancer-related deaths.
The expanding caseload is a little harder to explain. Some of it, too, reflects progress: refined ways of testing biopsied tissue and higher-resolution imaging have meant that mystery tumors that once couldn't be seen or were labeled “of unknown origin” can now be identified, and some turn out to be pancreatic. The aging of our population also contributes: it's pushing up the rates of many kinds of cancer. The longer we live, the more we accumulate genetic errors that can cause tumors and the less effective our DNA cleanup crew becomes.

By Jody Jakob from UK on 02-12-2019 11:21

The high sugar. fat and salt content of portuguese foods have landed many in digestive trouble including myself, its too easy to indulge in an unhealthy lifestyle here with little in the way of alternative, affordable healthy foods.

By john from Porto on 01-12-2019 10:14

One has to wonder if perhaps an increase in the use of chemical pesticides on crops, the consumption of more processed foods, and the rising cost of fish and subsequent reduction in consumption, are not all impacting the higher incidence of pancreatic cancer. It's becoming a scourge in developed nations, so perhaps we all need to go back to the way things were before modern conveniences gave us toxins our bodies are incapable of withstanding!

By Tona Steele from USA on 29-11-2019 05:29
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