Pancreatic cancer occurs most often in people older than 65. Although it's the fourth leading cause of cancer death overall, the lifetime risk of developing it (according to the American Cancer Society) is about 1 in 72 — or 1.38%. I became sort of obsessed with these stats when a close family member was diagnosed. I also read that the ACS estimated that about 42,470 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. last year. They say pancreatic cancer occurs less often than it did 15 to 25 years ago, but I’ve also seen reports that dispute that.