HEALTHY LIVING
09/24/2012 06:26 pm ET Updated Sep 25, 2012

Pancreatic Cancer: Bonnie Franklin's Condition, Explained

"One Day At A Time" actress Bonnie Franklin is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, according to reports.

A family spokesman shared the news about the 68-year-old's health condition with USA Today.

This year, there are estimated to be 43,920 new cases of pancreatic cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The American Cancer Society reports that a person has a one in 71 chance of developing pancreatic cancer sometime in his or her lifetime.

Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer spreads quickly and is often diagnosed too late -- when it's already begun spreading in the body -- which is why it has such a poor prognosis, the Mayo Clinic noted.

If the cancer has not spread beyond the pancreas, doctors may opt to perform surgery to remove the cancer. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy (where a drug is administered that targets the cancer) are also options, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The risk of pancreatic cancer goes up as a person gets older; the average age a person is diagnosed with the cancer is 72, according to the American Cancer Society. In fact, people who are older than age 55 make up nearly 90 percent of all cases of pancreatic cancer.

Being a man, being African American, smoking, being obese, having a family history, and having certain conditions (such as diabetes) are also risk factors for the disease, the American Cancer Society reported.

Franklin joins a number of other notable names who have been touched by the disease. Click through the slideshow for other famous faces of pancreatic cancer:

PHOTO GALLERIES
Famous Faces Of Pancreatic Cancer

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