Pancreatic Cancer and The Rolfe Foundation – Know Your Family. Know Your Risk

By Shannon Gurnee
In Health
September 15, 2017


I feel like it’s safe to say that each of us has been affected someway by cancer. Whether it was battling it ourselves or watching a loved one battle it, I think we all agree that cancer sucks! There are so many different cancers out there and one I’ve recently learned more about is Pancreatic Cancer.

#RolfeFoundation #PancreaticCancer #EarlyDetection #ad

About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most deadly cancers and its impact is personal. Let’s look at some statistics.

  • The timeframe from diagnosis to death is often very short, with little warning, creating a life-altering impact on survivors and families. The need for early detection is immediate and urgent.
  • In 2016, pancreatic cancer became the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., surpassing breast cancer.
  • Only lung cancer and colon cancer lead to more deaths per year than pancreatic cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer has a 5-year survival rate of only 7 percent, the worst of all major cancers.
  • Prostate cancer and breast cancer both have 5-year survival rates over 90 percent. Colon cancer’s 5-year survival rate is 65 percent, and lung cancer’s 54 percent.
  • The 1-year survival rate following diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is only 29 percent. o Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers and about 7 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.
  • About 53,670 people (27,970 men and 25,700 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. this year.
  • About 43,090 people (22,300 men and 20,790 women) will die of pancreatic cancer in the U.S. this year.

#RolfeFoundation #PancreaticCancer #EarlyDetection #ad

Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

Early detection of pancreatic cancer is so important and can significantly impact survival rates for this deadly disease. In fact, Pancreatic cancer is treatable when caught early, e.g. if you got colonoscopy. Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases are not diagnosed until too late. The 5-year survival rate approaches 25 percent if cancers are surgically removed while they are still small and have not spread to the lymph nodes.

The Importance of Family History

It is vital for everyone to know their family history to understand their risk for pancreatic cancer as a first step to early detection. Family history is a risk factor of pancreatic cancer. In some families, the high-risk is due to inherited syndromes passed from parent to child. Changes in the genes that cause some inherited syndromes can be found by genetic testing. Those with a history of pancreatic cancer in the immediate family should consider beginning the path to early detection by talking to a doctor or genetic counselor. If there is any pancreatic cancer in your immediate family, a certified genetic counselor can help you understand your risk. Knowing if you are at high risk can help you and your doctor decide if you should have tests to look for pancreatic cancer early, when it might be easier to treat.

#RolfeFoundation #PancreaticCancer #EarlyDetection #ad

About the It’s Personal: Know Your Family, Know Your Risk Campaign

Know Your Family

  • If you do not already know the medical histories of those in your immediate family, talk to your family to identify any history of pancreatic cancer.
  • Encourage readers to visit to download a “know your family” worksheet of questions to talk through with immediate family members.
  • We focus on family history because about 10 to 20 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have a family history that includes the disease.

Know Your Risk


#RolfeFoundation #PancreaticCancer #EarlyDetection #ad

About Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation is a leading Midwest institution with a mission of being a catalyst for the early detection and ultimate cure of pancreatic cancer. Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation supports patients and their loved ones, and is known for its personal engagement and individual attention to those with pancreatic cancer and their families.

The organization was started when the friends and family of Michael Rolfe, moved by his brief and brave battle, resolved to ensure that future diagnoses of pancreatic cancer wouldn’t be the grim sentence that Michael’s was. What began as a small, community effort has grown into a formidable institution dedicated to eradicating pancreatic cancer. The organization funds medical research at leading clinical and academic centers.

Rolfe seeks to improve the number of scientific investigators with a demonstrated focus on pancreatic cancer, which is currently very limited relative to other cancers. The average dollar amount of basic research grants in pancreatic cancer was 18-29 percent less than grants for other major cancers. The 5-year survival rate for all other major cancers (lung, colon, breast, prostate) have significantly increased thanks to focus on early detection tools and education. Pancreatic cancer has not seen any improvement.

To learn more about the foundation and their initiatives, fundraising events, and more, please visit Be sure to follow the Rolfe Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have you heard of the Know Your Family, Know Your Risk campaign with the Rolfe Foundation before reading this post? 



About Has 2133 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

62 Responses to “Pancreatic Cancer and The Rolfe Foundation – Know Your Family. Know Your Risk”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! Pancreatic cancer is a horrible thing, and it doesn’t get as much coverage as other cancers for some reason.

  2. Vera Sweeney says:

    Those are some very important numbers. I think it’s key to recognize our risk for any type of cancer and to take steps to protect ourselves wherever possible.

  3. Theresa says:

    Most of the deaths in my family have been from some form of cancer. I did have a genetic screening a few years back that showed I did not have the markers for what has been in my family, thankfully. I think it’s important to know your risks and get proper screening for early detection.

  4. tara pittman says:

    I agree we all have been affected by cancer. A family at church lost a son to bone cancer last year.

  5. robin rue says:

    A family friend of ours was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It’s very scary.

  6. It’s really hopeful to know that this is treatable if caught in time. Everyone should read this post to see what the risks are etc.

  7. A great friend’s FIL has been affected by cancer, luckily he’s beaten it so far. It’s great to learn about the different types and what signs to look out for that can possibly mean cancer. This is a great post.

  8. Cancer is a difficult thing to deal with and pancreatic is so silent until it is too late. I am glad you showed us these important statistics.

  9. Natalie says:

    I learned a lot about pancreatic cancer through this post. Any cancer is just terrible, I’ve lost too many loved ones to these diseases.

  10. Wendy Polisi says:

    I think you’re safe in saying cancer has touched all of us in some way. This sounds like a wonderful foundation.

  11. It is so important to be aware of your family’s medical past as much as possible. Early detection can ensure you don’t go through the same struggle!

  12. Jeanette says:

    A friend of my mom was diagnosed and 6 weeks later he was dead! It was scary! It is something we take very seriously! I hope they can find a cure of this and soon!

  13. Jeanine says:

    I’ve heard of the dangers of pancreatic cancer but I haven’t heard of Rolfe foundation. It is good to make awareness of this terrible cancer.

  14. These statistics really hit home. Prevention and a healthy lifestyle are essential. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. Maureen says:

    I talk about my health history often with family. It’s important that they are open about it so I can remain aware and as proactive as possible with my own health.

  16. Lori Geurin says:

    I had never heard of Know Your Family, Know Your Risk campaign with the Rolfe Foundation before reading this post but it sounds like such a great foundation. I’ve known at least 3 people with pancreatic cancer.

  17. Pam says:

    Cancer is pretty prevalent in my family. It’s so important to be aware of your risk and symptoms that might be signs of cancer.

  18. Brianne says:

    Wow what an informative post. I never knew any of this about pancreatic cancer!

  19. Marysa says:

    So important to be aware of things like this. I lost a close family member to a cancer. They didn’t go to the doctor until it was too late, and there were no treatment options. Cancer is so prevalent, it helps to know the signs so you can act before it is too late.

  20. Kristi says:

    I had not heard of this campaign but I do think it’s an important one, have been hearing more and more about pancreatic cancer.

  21. I haven’t heard of it yet but it sounds amazing! I would love to check that out,

  22. I haven’t heard of this risk campaign before. I knew pancreatic cancer was severe and fast acting, but some of these stats are shocking. It is so important to be aware and know your family history and risk factors. What a great campaign to help raise awareness.

  23. I was not aware of this campaign before reading your post, but I’m glad to know it is out there. Cancer does suck and it sucks even more when it effects someone you know. It’s important to know your risk factors and to do what you can to prevent the disease from happening or becoming detected in the late stages.

  24. Cancer is such a heartbreaking disease. It’s really important that we have ourselves checked at least twice a year. Early detection is key. It’s also important to know our family history, you’re totally right about that. This is such a good reminder for all of us to get ourselves checked.

  25. Joely Smith says:

    Cancer DOES SUCK no matter what type it is but I had no idea until recently that pancreatic cancer was so prevalent! So sad!

  26. ricci says:

    Cancer is everywhere these days! It’s super scary and I’m so glad there are foundations such as the Pancreatic Cancer and Rolfe Foundation to help people out!!

  27. Journa Ramirez says:

    Some of my husband’s family members have different histories about cancer. Being fully informed especially during this time is so important. Thank you for raising awareness.

  28. This is why they ask you about your family’s health history when it comes to your medical records. It’s really important because that way, you also know the health risks. This is definitely good information. Let’s avoid cancer as much as we can. It has taken so many lives.

  29. Julia Hunter says:

    Such an important issue, there needs to be more awareness about this cancer and the warning signs.

  30. This is so informative. I didn’t know anything about pancreatic cancer or the importance of catching it early. It’s sad how deeply cancer has affected our lives.

  31. Leta says:

    It’s not a cancer we hear much about, but this is useful information. Thanks.

  32. This is really great information to be sharing. It really is important to know the risks you are facing.

  33. Gingermommy says:

    Cancer sucks. It really does. It is so important to know your risk factors and to ensure that you are taking all measures possible to take care of yourself.

  34. Elizabeth L says:

    With the prevalence of cancer in the world today, it is wonderful that there are so many foundations around to help out. It really is very important to make sure that you know your risk factors.

  35. rebekah says:

    I hate cancer! I’m thankful for such important posts like this to spread awareness!

  36. Sự Đinh says:

    your post is informative.I have not known much about Pancreatic Cancer. however, I should find more information about this. Thanks for sharing.

  37. rich bivins says:

    Such an eye opening post. Luckily for me I have no history of any type of cancer in my family but I still get an annual physical which is ever important now that I’m about to turn 50.

  38. Michelle Waller says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I do not know anyone who has or had pancreatic cancer. It is good to know that it is treatable if caught early on.

  39. Donah @ SJB says:

    No I have not heard about it before. It is a good thing that Rolfe Foundation is having this cause. This is kinda horrific but I bet, it is still safer to think ahead. It is really important to know ahead, so as to cure ahead.

  40. Sadie says:

    Family history is so important. Not just to relay to doctors but to KNOW so you CAN relay it. I’ve seen so many adoptees be clueless when it comes to family history, which is a big part of early detection. Thank you for sharing this post and its important message.

  41. Our Family World says:

    Thanks for raising awareness. Pancreatic cancer has such a low 5 year survival rate, which is one reason why we should be more vigilant in identifying the symptoms of the disease. Cancer, in all its ugly forms, is one disease you wish and pray would never afflict your family.

  42. Thank you for sharing such an important post! Pancreatic cancer doesn’t get as much coverage as other cancers for some reason but really should. It’s more common that people think.

  43. HilLesha says:

    I personally don’t know anyone that has had this type of cancer, but I have heard that it has a really low survival rate. I wish that someday that they’ll be able to find a cure for cancer. I have lost a few family members to it, from breast and cervical cancer to leukemia.

  44. sarah says:

    Those are some grim statistics for pancreatic cancer. Although it’s never easy to hear about cancer, knowing your family history can give valuable insight on your risks and people should take advantage of that by learning more and getting assessed.


  45. Oh, my… I hate cancer! My sister just passed away because of lung cancer.

  46. Carolyn says:

    I know 2 people who have died of pancreatic cancer. It is so sad that there isn’t a good survival rate. This is great information to read and be informed. Thanks.

  47. emma white says:

    thank you for a very informative post and it’s something we should all know about so a great way to raise awareness

  48. Cancer certainly can go kick rocks! I don’t know anyone who have been affected by pancreatic cancer but know others who have passed from other types of cancer. I really like the detailed information in this article. Thank you for sharing.

    Thrifting Diva

  49. Caroline says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Cancer is not something to take lightly. If there are people that suffered from cancer in your family, you should talk to your doctor about if for sure!

  50. I have known a few people with pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately my great grandmother died from it. It’s important to be informed.

  51. Allison says:

    So important to take caution with any health risk, especially if you have a family history. While I don’t come from a line with pancreatic cancer I do with cervical cancer. Just with anything people need to be informed.

  52. Heather says:

    This is such an important topic. For years my husband worked in womens healthcare so cancer is a big topic in our home. It’s so important to know your risks and what you can do to help with a proper diagnosis.

  53. Jennifer says:

    Pancreatic cancer is extremely scary. My husband’s grandfather had colon cancer, but I don’t think anyone knows about pancreatic. Definitely going to look into it.

  54. Adaleta says:

    You know what it is so important to know about the risks and to watch for it in your family. Really great post.

  55. CourtneyLynne says:

    Thanks for the info!! It’s crazy how many people get diagnosed with cancer each year. The sooner you find out, the better!

  56. Such an important topic. You have to know everything and keep up with doctor visits.

  57. ellen beck says:

    I hadnt heard of this before at all. My husband is a cancer survivor and has still not gotten the all clear. His was very rare (only 24 known) and yet very treatable so far, I know pancreatic cancer moves fast and often has no symptoms :/

  58. Cancer has affected my life but I don’t know much about pancreatic cancer so I appreciate all of this

  59. Colette says:

    Thank you for sharing.
    This is such very important message and information.
    I shared also!

  60. Julie Wood says:

    This is one of the deadliest cancers. A person can get diagnosed and die within 3 months. I had a relative die from this cancer and it was awful on the family!

  61. Blair villanueva says:

    Thanks for this information and I learn a lot from your post. Glad that we dobt have history of pancreatic cancer. However it is better to be safe always.

  62. This is the type of cancer that Patrick Swayze died from. It’s so important to raise awareness about it.

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