Between 2004 and 2010, 6.7 percent of individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survived for five years based on data collected by SEER, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. The stage of the cancer at diagnosis, treatment course and response to treatment are variables that impact overall survival rates.
Low survival rates for pancreatic cancer are largely due to progression of malignancy of the tumor at the time of diagnosis, according to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. If the cancer is localized or confined to the pancreas when detected, five-year survival rates are 25.8 percent. However, if the cancer is distant or has metastasized to other parts of the body, five-year survival rates decrease to 2.3 percent, as cited in the SEER data.