Diseases Cancer

What Are the Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer

Introduction

Pancreatic cancer isn’t a diagnosis anyone wants to hear. Most often when diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there is a poor prognosis that follows. Because symptoms are not always present when the cancer initially develops it often means the disease has advanced before a person is actually diagnosed.

General Information About Pancreatic Cancer

Did you know that pancreatic cancer is also known as a “silent killer” which is also the case with heart-attack victims? It seems strange that the two can be compared, but it’s so true because pancreatic cancer often will attack its victims in a silent way without warning and sometimes the person can have the cancer for quite some time before they are even diagnosed simply because they did not realize they were experiencing symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Not only does this make the disease even more difficult to treat, but it also means the person could have cancer in other areas of the body by the time the pancreatic cancer is diagnosed. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can vary, and some of them can be similar or the same symptoms a person can experience with other illnesses. Many times this causes the person to ignore the symptoms as unimportant.

Symptoms and General Information

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include but are not limited to:

 Pain in the abdomen that could radiate to the back which is a symptom that can be related to other illnesses and could easily be overlooked especially if it comes and goes.

 Nausea and/or vomiting along with loss of appetite and these do not necessarily have to occur together, but it’s possible that they can.

 Like many other diseases, it is possible for a person to experience significant weight loss.

 Many times a person will experience jaundice, which may include yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes.

 Believe it or not, diabetes later in life can be a sign or symptom of pancreatic cancer. This can develop months or even years before a person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It’s important to never ignore a diagnosis of diabetes later in life as this could plainly be a symptom of pancreatic cancer.

If any of these or other symptoms of pancreatic cancer are experienced by anyone, it is important to consult with your physician.

Pancreatic cancer is more common among people who are diabetics, smokers and those who may have inflammation of the pancreas.

Some patients who have experienced no symptoms of pancreatic cancer and are diagnosed could possibly be fortunate enough for the cancer to be surgically removed. In order to make a determination of whether or not this is an option, there are tests that your physician will want to perform so he/she can decide if surgical treatment is an option for you. This is considered on an individual basis so as you see, a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is not always hopeless.

If it is determined that surgery is an option it will most likely mean that you will be subjected to chemotherapy and/or radiation as additional treatments in order to maximize your chances of survival and attempt to kill any cancer cells that may still be present.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer are hard to pinpoint and overall; a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is not a pretty sight, nor does it mean you will immediately die. There are treatment options in many cases, but long-term survival isn’t always possible when a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer has been confirmed

Tips and comments

Always consult with your physician if you suspect you may be experiencing any symptom associated with pancreatic cancer.

By Susan Hill, published at 03/02/2012
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