Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada. And with an aging population, it is expected to be the second leading cause by 2030.

6,900 Canadians and more than 800 British Columbians will be diagnosed with the disease this year. It is projected that only 10% (or 80 of those people diagnosed in B.C.) will live five years.

Did you know?

  • 75% of pancreatic cancer patients die within a year of diagnosis.
  • The 5-year survival rate is 10%.
  • Early diagnosis is key to survival because treatment can start before the cancer has started to spread.
  • VGH is the provincial site for the most complex pancreatic surgical treatment and care.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

  • Pain in the upper abdomen or back. This symptom commonly occurs with pancreatic cancer when lying down, about 3-4 hours after eating.
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss. This symptom is usually one of the first that is experienced with pancreatic cancer.
  • Jaundice. This symptom is the result of a tumour blocking the bile duct which slows the flow of bile into the small intestine.
  • Changes in stool colour. Stools become a pale, clay colour for those living with pancreatic cancer.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer are common with many other conditions. If you are experiencing the above symptoms, we urge you to speak to your doctor and reference pancreatic cancer as a possibility.

Pancreas Centre BC

The Pancreas Centre BC (PCBC) was founded over a decade ago, bringing together doctors and researchers from VGH, UBC and the BC Cancer Agency to improve pancreatic care and research. Since then, PCBC has made demonstrable progress, including the establishment of a Rapid Access Clinic and the Familial Pancreatic Cancer Program as well as a robust Biobank to help identify therapeutic targets.

Under the leadership of Drs. David Schaeffer and Dan Renouf, the team has made key advancements to improve survival rates and quality of life of patients through enhanced pancreatic cancer profiling for individualized care and sophisticated genomic and molecular research for earlier and more accurate diagnosis.

Learn more about the Pancreas Centre BC.

Your Impact

Philanthropy is key in driving the pace and scope of innovation and breaking down cancer. We are honored and tremendously grateful to announce an extraordinary $5M to both BC Cancer Foundation and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation from the Hager Family in memory of Bob Hager on the tenth anniversary of PCBC.

“Cancer treatment does not benefit from the one-size-fits-all approach because individual tumours have different biological signatures that can affect their response to treatment. Philanthropy is key in driving innovation in how we address this challenge.”

—Drs. David Schaeffer & Dan Renouf, co-directors, Pancreas Centre BC