December 4, 1981

Incidence of Pancreatic Cancer-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore

JAMA. 1981;246(22):2575-2576. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320220027012

In Reply.—  Although secular changes in the incidence of cancer are often difficult to document in view of the paucity of relevant statistics, the available data suggest that pancreatic cancer increased rather steadily between the second and sixth decades of this century. Using US mortality data, Devesa and Silverman1 observed substantial increases in pancreatic cancer death rates among both whites and nonwhites between 1935 and 1971. Krain2 calculated a threefold increase in pancreatic cancer mortality between 1920 and 1965 in the United States and a number of other countries. Data as yet unpublished from the vital records of the state of Maryland indicate that the death rate from pancreatic cancer among our citizens increased during the interval between 1965 and 1979.A comparison of statistics derived from the second and third National Cancer Surveys also disclosed increases in the incidence of pancreatic cancer among males and females of