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Pancreatic Cancer will be the Second Leading Killer by 2030

Update Date: May 20, 2014 11:21 AM EDT

According to a new report, by 2030, the top three killers related to cancer will be caused by the lung, pancreas and liver organs. The latest estimations predicted that pancreatic and liver cancers will be linked to more deaths than breast cancer for women, prostate cancer for men and colorectal cancer while lung cancer continues to remain the top killer overall over the next two decades.

"We've been able to turn the tide in other cancers, with an investment in (research)," lead author Lynn Matrisian, vice president of scientific and medical affairs at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, which funded the study, said according to CNN. "We're hoping that with increased effort ... we will be able to impact and change those projections."

For this study, the researches examined the incidence and death rates of different cancers from 2006 to 2010. By combining these statistics with data on the expected changes in the United States demographics, the researchers were able to predict the numbers in 2030. They reported that overall, deaths caused by cancers in general should fall due to better screening techniques and treatment options. However, the number of cancer cases can be expected to jump due to the increasing number of people turning 65 or older. The team estimated that the number of cancer cases will rise from 1.5 million in 2010 to 2.1 million in 2030.

"We're living much longer in the United States, so the number of people 65 age and older will be much greater," Matrisian said. "And that's, of course, one of the biggest risk factors for cancer: Age."

Despite the overall decline, the team did find that deaths related to liver, pancreatic, bladder and leukemia cancers are expected to increase. Deaths caused by breast, prostate and colon cancers will decrease.

"Pancreatic cancer is a very difficult disease to detect and treat. We've known for years that pancreatic cancer was one of the few cancers for which the incidence and death rate were on the rise," Dr. Anirban Maitra, co-director and scientific director of the Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX said reported by Philly. "The publishing of this study is a stark reminder that much work lies ahead to improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients."

The study was published in the American Association for Cancer Research's journal.

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