Experts Baffled By ‘Frightening’ Rise Of Pancreatic Cancer In Young Women

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pancreatic cancer

Experts say they are alarmed over the ‘frightening’ explosion of girls and young women developing one of the most deadliest cancers.

Rates of pancreatic cancer have surged by up to 200 per cent in UK women under the age of 25 with experts saying the reasons behind the ‘frightening’ trend are not understood

The Mail Online reports: Overall, incidences of the disease — which has a five-year survival rate of just 5 per cent — have increased by around 17 per cent over the same time-span, with soaring obesity rates suspected to be behind the trend.

Yet oncologists cannot explain the particular surge in young women, with no such spike noted in men of the same age.

Professor Karol Sikora, a world-renowned oncologist with over 40 years’ experience, told MailOnline there are theories it has to do with the modern diet.

But so far, he added, researchers have ‘no idea’ of the cause behind the ‘frightening’ trend, especially in younger woman.

‘It is probably something to do with dietary change over the last 20 years,’ he said.

‘Fortunately pancreatic cancer is rare in the young but it is a bit worrying. It shows that we just don’t have all the answers.’

He added that Britain wasn’t alone in this trend, with studies from the US indicating similar increases in the disease across the Atlantic and further research was needed to uncover the cause.   

Nicola Smith, senior health information manager at Cancer Research UK, also said more research was needed to unpick why pancreatic cancer rates in the UK were increasing. 

‘Pancreatic cancer cases in the UK are on the rise, and we have seen a small increase in the number of young women being diagnosed,’ she said.

‘More research is still needed to fully understand why this is happening.’

Dubbed the ‘silent killer’ due to its subtle symptoms which mean it is frequently only spotted in its final stages, pancreatic cancer kills about 10,000 Brits every year. 

This is equivalent to one death every hour in the UK. 

A number of celebrity diagnoses within the past 12 months have thrown the disease into the spotlight. 

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, 75, revealed earlier this year that he is dying from pancreatic cancer.

Meanwhile, last May it was revealed that The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke had died from the illness. 

Other famous victims include legendary actors Patrick Swayze and Alan Rickman as well as Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs.

Brits in their 80s are most likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with the risk of getting the disease, much like other cancers, broadly increasing with age.

Other known risk factors for the disease include smoking and obesity.

Figures from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) shows pancreatic cancer incidence rates have risen 17 per cent since the early 90s.

It now means that about 17 people out of every 100,000 will get the disease in one calendar year. 

This is up from 14 people per year some 30 years ago.

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates in young women, those who are children and up to the age of 24, have exploded by 208 per cent over the same period, MailOnline analysis revealed. 

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