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Pancreatic cancer increasing, awareness low

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panVienna : While the incidence of pancreatic cancer is increasing, awareness about the disease remains relatively low, experts said at a conference here on gastroenterology, media reported.

The United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week conference on Tuesday noted that about 100,000 people in Europe are expected to have pancreatic cancer in the coming year, overtaking the population with breast cancer, which is estimated to stand around 90,000, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, the outlook for pancreatic cancer patients has not improved noticeably.

Femme Harinck from the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands said over 80 per cent of cases are only identified when the cancer is in its advanced stage as symptoms often appear late.

According to Harinck, the five-year survival rate for this cancer between 2008 and 2012 was only 7 per cent, far less than the 70 per cent of colon cancer.

Nuria Malats, from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre and holding a similar view, said the incidence of pancreatic cancer in the US is expected to increase from 40 per 100,000 people in 2010 to 70 per 100,000 people by 2030.

The mortality rate from the cancer, she said, is only second to lung cancer. Both of the two cancers are nowadays among the most difficult to treat.

Malats said the exact causes of pancreatic cancer are still not clear, though chronic local inflammations appear to lead to higher risk. Gum inflammations and resulting bacteria also appear to play a role, along with a mix of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and smoking.

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China coronavirus toll reaches 908, 40,171 infected

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Beijing: The death toll due to the novel coronavirus in China on Monday increased to 908, with 40,171 confirmed cases, the country’s National Health Commission said.

Until midnight, 6,484 severe cases had been recorded while 3,281 people, who had recovered from the illness, had been discharged, Efe news reported citing the Commission as saying.

As of now, 399,487 patients in close contact with the infected have been traced, out of which 187,518 are under observation, according to the Chinese agency.

Among those under observation, 23,589 were suspected of having contracted the virus.

The latest figures indicate an increase of 97 deaths over the previous day – when 632 people were also discharged – and 3,062 new infections.

Of the 97 deaths, 91 were recorded in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak -, and which has been under de facto quarantine since January 23.

It total, 2,618 of the 3,062 new coronavirus cases have been detected in Hubei.

Until now, all deaths but one – which occurred in the Philippines – have been in China, which accounts for about 99 per cent of those infected, although about 20 countries have confirmed cases.

The virus has already claimed more lives than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

Despite both the novel coronavirus and SARS originating in China, the geographical distribution of deaths is radically different.

SARS emerged in the southern Guangzhou province, while the coronavirus appears to have originated from a seafood market in the central-eastern city of Wuhan.

With SARS, 349 people died in mainland China, 299 in Hong Kong, 43 in Canada, 37 in Taiwan and 33 in Singapore, to mention only the most affected places, according to the figures from WHO.

Coronavirus has spread to at least 27 other countries and territories.

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