Nov 17, 2022

Albeit Rare, Be Aware: Pancreatic Cancer Facts

Cancer Awareness.

Pancreatic cancer affects thousands of Americans each year. The more people know about the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer, the more likely it is to be caught early on and treated effectively.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is considered a rare cancer, but it still affects over 60 thousand Americans each year. There are several types of pancreatic cancer:
– Pancreatic adenocarcinoma
– Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
– Acinar cell carcinoma
– Intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasm
– Mucinous cystic neoplasm with an invasive adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death. This is in part to the cancer often being diagnosed late. The later pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, the fewer treatment options there are.

Signs and symptoms

Pancreatic cancer symptoms are often vague and could be due to many other causes. Because of this, it is important that you notify your doctor if you experience symptoms so that pancreatic cancer can be ruled out or caught early on. Common symptoms include:

– Abdominal pain
– Unexplained weight loss
– Jaundice
– Loss of appetite
– Digestive problems
– Pancreatitis
– Recent-onset diabetes
– Bloating

Risk Factors

Certain factors can put you at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. These include:

– family history of pancreatic disease
– certain genetic mutations
– diabetes
– smoking
– race
– obesity
– age
– excessive alcohol intake
– gum disease

How is it treated?

Treatment for pancreatic cancer is dependent on a patient’s genetic makeup. Precision medicine is a new treatment that is based on patient biology, and it has been shown to extend patients’ lives by an average of one year. There are also many clinical trials for pancreatic cancer treatment. Raising awareness about pancreatic cancer is an important step toward developing and finding treatment options.

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