With pancreatic cancer, the symptoms are so vague. Some signs could be pain, pain in your belly and perhaps a loss of appetite. All the experts agree that if caught early, a patient's survival rate increases. But without detection test, that is extremely challenging.

"Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is one of our most deadly cancers," said Dr. Donald Richards, with Texas Oncology. According to statistics compiled by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 95 percent of patients will die within five years of diagnosis, with 76 percent of patients dying within the first year.

"[They can have it] and not even know it," said Richards. "It can be at advanced stages at the time of presentation and still not causing a great deal of symptoms." . "There's no good screen for pancreatic cancer, unfortunately," he said. "It's usually diagnosed beyond the point it can be cured. It's a disease that spreads rapidly and early and once it's spread there's really no effective treatment right now that's standard."

Oncologist Dr. Chirag Jani says the symptoms are scary.   "I think the most common symptoms in our lead to pancreatic cancer is no symptom and that’s the reason we don’t catch it" says Dr. Jani.

The death of actor Patrick Swayze has put the disease in the spotlight.

"Don't smoke, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight those are probably the best things you can do."

Doctors currently treat pancreatic cancer with medication, chemotherapy, and surgery.