Pancreatic cancer can start in the horizontal organ of the abdomen that is in the lower part of the stomach. This tissue of the pancreas can release enzymes that help manage the blood sugar, hormones, and digestion.
But, when it spreads, pancreatic cancer can affect the nearby organs. Therefore, it is best to detect it in its early stages. Moreover, for people who have a family history of pancreatic cancer, or pancreatic cysts, it is best to get some screening steps to detect the problem before it spreads.
In addition, a sign of pancreatic cancer might be diabetes, excessive weight loss, pain in the upper abdomen, or back. To treat this type of cancer, people have to undergo chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or all of these treatments together.
The causes for this type of cancer are not clear. However, some doctors believe that smoking can increase the chance of developing this disease.
10 Warning Signs of Pancreatic Cancer
About one in ten people who have been diagnosed with pancreatic condition survive for more than five years. But, it could be easier to treat the condition if doctors diagnose it in the early stage. Otherwise, the treatment options are limited, according to Pancreatic Cancer UK.
According to a survey in the UK of 4,000 people, most of them were not aware of the symptoms of this disease. Therefore, the chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, Alex Ford, said that they don’t want to panic people. He just wants to help them detect it in the early stages.
As a result, it is important that people know about the disease and if they have any concerns, they should consult with their doctor. In addition, this information can help save many lives. But, only if the doctors detect it in the early stages.
Furthermore, the symptoms or signs of pancreatic cancer, usually become more obvious when cancer spreads. Therefore, it can go to the liver and affect its functions. Here are the most common signs of pancreatic cancer.
1. Back or Belly Pain
The most common sign of pancreatic cancer is a pain in the back or abdomen. The reason for this lies at the beginning of cancer development and the way it spreads. At first, the tail of the pancreas can develop and become very large.
In addition, it will start to pressure the other organs and cause pain. Furthermore, it can start to spread to the surrounding nerves and lead to back pain. But, the bad thing is that back and stomach pain can often go unnoticed because people get them all the time.
2. Abnormalities in the Fatty Tissue
There are some cases where pancreatic cancer can appear underneath the skin. When enzymes that digest the fat cause the release of such pancreatic enzymes, it can result in an uneven texture of the fatty tissue.
3. Dark Urine
A possible sign of jaundice can be the dark urine. When the bilirubin levels increase in the blood, it can cause the urine to become darker than usual. Or in this case, brown.
4. Itchy Skin
Pancreatic cancer can also make the skin very itchy or even turn it yellow.
5. The Liver and the Gallbladder Become Larger
When pancreatic cancer starts blocking the bile duct, the bile will stack and make the gallbladder larger. When this happens, doctors can detect this change in the body by feeling the large lump on the right side of the ribcage.
Also, they can take some imaging tests. Moreover, pancreatic cancer can affect the size of the liver and make it larger too. This happens only if the cancer spreads to the liver. During a physical exam, doctors can also feel this change below the right side of the ribcage.
6. Greasy or Light-Colored Stools
Pancreatic cancer can block the bile duct. As a result, the stools might appear gray or pale. Moreover, if the pancreatic enzymes and bile can’t get to the intestines to help dissolve the fats, the stools can become greasy and float in the toilet.
7. Vomiting and Nausea
Pancreatic cancer can make it very hard for the food to get through the stomach. As a result, it can cause vomiting, pain, and nausea, especially after eating.
8. Poor Appetite and Weight Loss
If you are losing an excessive amount of weight without trying, it could mean that you have pancreatic cancer. Also, it can affect your appetite.
9. Blood Clots
The first sign of pancreatic cancer can sometimes be a blood clot in the large vein, most often in the leg. This vein is the deep vein thrombosis or in other words, DVT. The symptoms of blood clots include swelling, redness, pain, and warmth in the leg.
However, there are some occasions in which a piece of the clot can separate and travel to the lungs. As a result, it can cause difficulty breathing or chest pain. This type of blood cloth goes by the name of pulmonary embolism or PE.
But, having blood clots doesn’t mean you have cancer. On the contrary, it can also mean that other things in your body cause these blood clots.
In some rare occasions, pancreatic cancer can destroy the cells that produce the insulin. Therefore, it can affect people with diabetes. As a result, they might feel exceptionally thirsty, hungry and have to urinate more often.
Furthermore, this type of cancer can cause some minor changes in the levels of blood sugar, but doctors can detect it with blood tests.
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