pancreatic cancer
A 'frightening' explosion of young women developing one of the deadliest cancers has baffled experts.

Rates of pancreatic cancer have soared by up to 200 per cent in women under the age of 25 since the 1990s.

Overall, incidences of the disease — which has a five-year survival rate of just 5 per cent — have increased by around 17 per cent over the same time-span, with soaring obesity rates suspected to be behind the trend.

Yet oncologists cannot explain the particular surge in young women, with no such spike noted in men of the same age.

Professor Karol Sikora, a world-renowned oncologist with over 40 years' experience, told MailOnline there are theories it has to do with the modern diet.

But so far, he added, researchers have 'no idea' of the cause behind the 'frightening' trend, especially in younger woman.

'It is probably something to do with dietary change over the last 20 years,' he said.

'Fortunately pancreatic cancer is rare in the young but it is a bit worrying. It shows that we just don't have all the answers.'

He added that Britain wasn't alone in this trend, with studies from the US indicating similar increases in the disease across the Atlantic and further research was needed to uncover the cause.

Nicola Smith, senior health information manager at Cancer Research UK, also said more research was needed to unpick why pancreatic cancer rates in the UK were increasing.

'Pancreatic cancer cases in the UK are on the rise, and we have seen a small increase in the number of young women being diagnosed,' she said.

'More research is still needed to fully understand why this is happening.'

Dubbed the 'silent killer' due to its subtle symptoms which mean it is frequently only spotted in its final stages, pancreatic cancer kills about 10,000 Brits every year.

This is equivalent to one death every hour in the UK.

A number of celebrity diagnoses within the past 12 months have thrown the disease into the spotlight.

Comment: Which implicates the experimental covid jabs.

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, 75, revealed earlier this year that he is dying from pancreatic cancer.

Meanwhile, last May it was revealed that The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke had died from the illness.

Other famous victims include legendary actors Patrick Swayze and Alan Rickman as well as Apple's iconic founder Steve Jobs.

Brits in their 80s are most likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with the risk of getting the disease, much like other cancers, broadly increasing with age.

Other known risk factors for the disease include smoking and obesity.

Comment: It's unlikely that smoking has anything to do with it, not least because smoking rates in the UK have plummeted, while diseases of all kinds are soaring: A comprehensive review of the many health benefits of smoking Tobacco

Figures from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) shows pancreatic cancer incidence rates have risen 17 per cent since the early 90s.

It now means that about 17 people out of every 100,000 will get the disease in one calendar year.

This is up from 14 people per year some 30 years ago.

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates in young women, those who are children and up to the age of 24, have exploded by 208 per cent over the same period, MailOnline analysis revealed.

Rates of the disease in women aged 25 to 49 also increased by 34 per cent, nearly double the rate of the general population.

Comment: It could be a great many things, from the use of the birth control pill, female vaccines like HPV, or since female physiology reacts differently to things, it could even be the increased use of soy, seed oils, or the lack of animal fat: Distinctly different brain organization patterns in women and men - Stanford Medicine

Reassuringly, the base numbers are still low. For example, no more than 1.5 women out of every 100,000 of that age will struck by the disease each year.

'I'm worried for other pancreatic cancer patients,' she said.

'It scares me that there are people out there that will think, oh, I just feel a bit off but it's fine, I won't get a GP appointment, I'll just ride it out.

'Then they become so ill and jaundiced that they get admitted to A&E and by then it's too late.

'If you are concerned about a symptom, get in touch with your GP.'

There was no equivalent spike in pancreatic cancer rates in very young men (0-24), and only a 17 per cent rise, in line with overall figure for the population, in men aged 25-49.

Whereas experts have been able to pinpoint historic tobacco use on a rise in lung cancer, no 'smoking gun' explains the rise in pancreatic cancer.

Comment: Not quite, because less young females smoke than ever before, and yet they're suffering a surge in pancreatic cancer.

Data suggest a quarter of British adults are now obese, compared to just a sixth a decade ago. Rates were even lower in the 90s.

Ms Smith encouraged anyone suffering potential pancreatic cancer symptoms to contact their GP.

'You know your body best, so it's important to get your doctor's advice if you notice anything that's not normal for you or isn't going away,' she said.

'It probably won't be cancer. But if it is, spotting it at an early stage means that treatment is more likely to be successful.'

Anna Jewell, director of support, research and influencing at the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK, added that while older people are more likely to get pancreatic cancer, younger groups are still at risk.

'To increase survival rates from pancreatic cancer we need to ensure everyone, at all ages, has fast access to diagnosis and treatment,' she said.

She said studies suggest the disease is more common among black people and women, but again, further research was needed to unpick why.

Ms Jewell added the pancreatic cancer moniker of 'the silent killer' was unhelpful and said that much could be done to improve both detection and survivability of the disease if it got the attention it deserved.

For decades, pancreatic cancer has been left behind, receiving just 3 per cent of the UK cancer research budget and has too often been absent from national cancer strategies and plans,' she said.

'That's why pancreatic cancer survival has barely changed for decades, and it remains the deadliest common cancer.

'We know that the right level of sustained funding can change everything. Survival rates for leukaemia have quadrupled thanks to significant and consistent investment into research.'

Pancreatic Cancer UK estimate that £35million per year needs to be invested in pancreatic cancer research to reverse this trend and bring about breakthroughs in early diagnosis and new treatments.

The pancreas is a tadpole-shaped organ that forms part of the digestive system and also performs a crucial role in hormone regulation.

It is located just behind the stomach and is about 25cm in length.

In its digestive role, it helps produce enzymes that help the body break down food into the nutrients it needs.

It is also critical in making hormones responsible for controlling blood sugar levels in the body.

These roles are part of what makes some scientists think changes in the modern diet are a potential reason why rates of pancreatic cancer are on the up.

Potential symptoms of pancreatic cancer include jaundice, where the whites of the eyes and skin turn yellow, alongside itchy skin and darker urine.

Other possible signs include loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, constipation or bloating.

While symptoms are unlikely to be cancer it is important that they are checked out by a GP early just in case, especially if people have had them for over four weeks.

Anti-vaxx theories that Covid jabs are behind a rise in cancer incidences have not been proven.

As experts like Professor Sikora highlight, data showing rises like the one observed for pancreatic cancer only go up to 2018, years before the vaccines were invented.