In a video message "Danger!" host Alex Trebek told fans he will continue to fight and "beat low survival statistics". USA TODAY
You may think you hear a lot about pancreatic cancer because some famous people have announced they are being treated for the disease.
This week, Oakland Executive Director L. Brooks Patterson announced he has pancreatic cancer. Earlier this month, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek told fans he also struggled with the disease. Last summer, Queen Areta Franklin of Detroit succumbed to pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, as well as Apple's chairman, CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs. Actors Patrick Swayze and Michael Landon also died from pancreatic cancer.
Oakland County Artist L. Brooks Patterson (Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Press, Ryan Garza, Detroit Press)
Although it is still believed to be a rare cancer – accounting for about 3% of all cancers – the incidence of pancreatic cancer has steadily increased for decades in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and disease prevention
The greater number of cases may be due several factors, said Dr. Philip Philip, vice president for medical affairs at the Center for Cancer Barbara Ann Karmanos and professor of oncology and pharmacology at the Medical University of Ueynskiya State University. People live longer, he says, and cancer usually occurs more often in older people. But he also noted that it is also remarkable that obesity and diabetes are risk factors for pancreatic cancer and both conditions are increasing in the United States.
"This is on the rise and may be due to people who live longer and a way of life, and probably reasons we have not yet found," he said.
The singer Areta Franklin performs a song in honor of singer Luciano Pavarotti at MusiCares dinner in February. was honored with 1998 as the person of the year MusiCares for the humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. Dinner was beneficial to the MusiCares Foundation, which helps the needy musicians with health and human services. The 40th Grammy Award will be featured in the New York City Music Hall on February 25, 1998. (Photo: Fred Prouzer, Reuters)
The most common and deadly form of cancer the pancreatic is the adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 95% of all pancreatic cancer, Philip said. Neuroendocrine tumors represent the remaining 5%. "Adenocarcinoma is much more aggressive than neuroendocrine tumors," he said. "Patients with neuroendocrine tumors live longer than patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, even if they are in Stage 4 or metastatic disease (Phase Comparison Step). Franklin and Mr. Jobs have had a neuroendocrine variety. When we say "pancreatic cancer," we really talk about the adenocarcinoma.