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Pancreatic Cancer Statistics

The need to come together to improve diagnosis outcomes is growing more urgent as Ministry of Health data shows a 40 percent increase in rates of pancreatic cancer in the two decades to 2017.

Currently there is no screening programme for pancreatic cancer, and incidence is higher among men than women in New Zealand.

Data published by the Ministry of Health further showed that in 2019, pancreatic cancer rates were 80 percent higher among Māori than non-Māori.

Despite being the 9th most common form of cancer in New Zealand, pancreatic cancer is the 5th biggest cause of cancer deaths in the country.

The WHO estimates that in 2020, New Zealand had 683 pancreatic cancer registrations and 592 deaths caused by pancreatic cancer.

Prostate and breast cancer record over 6 times the incidence of pancreatic cancer every year in New Zealand.

However, the number of deaths caused by pancreatic cancer is only very slightly lower than these two very common cancers.

The WHO projects that by 2025, deaths from pancreatic cancer in New Zealand will surpass breast cancer to become the 4th biggest cause of mortality for New Zealand's cancer patients

Despite a welcome increase in 5-year survival rates from 8%-12%, pancreatic cancer still has the lowest 5-year survival rate of all major cancers.

Between 2000 and 2016, the overall incidence* of cancer in New Zealand fell by 7.6%. During the same period, the incidence of pancreatic cancer increased by 22%.

*Rates are expressed per 100,000 population and age-standardised to the World Health Organisation world standard population.