DefinitionRate of newly reported cases of pancreatic cancer per 100,000 population.
NumeratorNumber of newly reported cases of pancreatic cancer for a specific time period.
DenominatorMid-year resident population for a specific time period.
Data Interpretation IssuesCancer cases do not include in situ. Mortality rates may vary from source to source. This may be due to using provisional data or using different population databases. The cancer mortality rates provided by the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/chronic/pages/cancer/registry.aspx Alaska Cancer Registry] use population estimates provided by the [http://seer.cancer.gov/ Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)] of the [http://www.cancer.gov/ National Cancer Institute]. In contrast, [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/data/default.aspx Alaska Vital Statistics] uses [http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm population estimates] provided by the State Demographer in the [http://laborstats.alaska.gov/ Research and Analysis Section] of the [http://labor.alaska.gov/ Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development].
Why Is This Important?It is estimated that in the United States in 2018, 55,440 cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed and 44,330 people will die of the disease. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 63 for men (1.6%) and 1 in 65 for women (1.5%).^1^
Studies have found the following factors increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer: Smoking, being overweight, older age, being male, and a family history of pancreatic cancer. Exposure to workplace environments with certain chemicals used in the dry cleaning and metal working industries may also increase your risk. People with certain medical conditions tend to have a higher risk, such as diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and stomach infections from the H. pylori bacteria.^2^
Incidence rates tell us about the rate at which new cases of a condition occur. As such, the incidence rate of pancreatic cancer is an important indicator of the burden of this type of cancer in Alaska, allowing us to monitor how this burden changes over time and also to compare this burden among sub-populations. [[br]]
1. [http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-key-statistics What are the key statistics about pancreatic cancer?] [[br]]
2. [http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-risk-factors What are the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?]
How Are We Doing?Although pancreatic cancer in Alaska has not ranked high for the number of cancer incident cases over the last 5 years, it is ranked #4 among cancer deaths. In Alaska the rate has shown considerable variation from year to year based on small numbers, but there has been no apparent trend in pancreatic cancer incidence in the past decade.
In Alaska, pancreatic cancer incidence rates by gender are inconsistent in that rates for both sexes fluctuate over time. Some years rates for men are higher and some years rates for women are higher. For the years 2012-2015, rates for men and women have been very similar to each other. In 2015, the pancreatic cancer incidence rate for men was 9.0 per 100,000 males, compared to the rate for women of 10.8 per 100,000 females.
Around the state for 1996-2015, the incidence of pancreatic cancer ranged from a high of 21.1 per 100,000 population in Kusilvak Census Area to a low of 7.5 per 100,000 population in Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, compared to the statewide rate of 11.9. There were several boroughs/census areas for which rates were not calculated because there were fewer than 6 cases.
By race for 1996-2015, Alaska Natives had a higher incidence rate of pancreatic cancer than any other race at 15.5 per 100,000 population, compared to 11.6 for Whites, 9.1 for Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 7.8 for Blacks.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Alaska's pancreatic cancer incidence rates over time have been very close to that of the U.S., with some years being slightly higher and some years being slightly lower. The U.S. rate has been slightly increasing over time. In 2015, Alaska's pancreatic cancer incidence rate was 10.0 per 100,000 population compared with the U.S. rate of 12.6 in 2014.