According to figures from the American Cancer Society released in January 2016, pancreatic cancer is predicted to soon become the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Oregon and around the country. The nationwide health organization predicts that the disease will have claimed the lives of 41,780 Americans by the end of the year. Only lung cancer and colon cancer cause more cancer-related deaths in the United States.
The news regarding pancreatic cancer survivability is almost as sobering. While survival rates have improved slightly to 8 percent, the disease still has the lowest one of any major cancer. Breast cancer survivability has improved noticeably in recent years thanks to more thorough screening and new treatment options, and the president of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Center has called for a similar effort to combat pancreatic cancer.
By 2020, pancreatic cancer is expected to claim more lives than colon cancer in the United States, and most experts agree that a coordinated approach is called for to combat the disease with more effective treatment and screening methods. As with most other forms of cancer, survivability rates for pancreatic cancer increase sharply when the disease is detected in its early stages. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network believes that a concerted effort could double survival rates within five years.
A delayed or incorrect cancer diagnosis can have catastrophic consequences, and those who have been harmed due to this kind of medical mistake may seek civil remedies. However, the defendants in medical malpractice cases generally have ample resources and capable legal representation, and attorneys may perform thorough due diligence before initiating litigation based upon a failure to diagnose cancer. Attorneys could consult with experts to determine whether or not the treatment provided to their clients met accepted medical standards, and they may gather treatment and survivability data to establish that earlier detection would have likely led to a far more favorable outcome.