According to the American Cancer Society, it was estimated that by 2015, about 48,960 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas, a pear-shaped organ located behind the lower part of your stomach. When the cells in the pancreas begin to multiply out of control, it forms a mass, leading to a cancerous tumor. This cancer can impair the two main functions of the pancreas- secreting enzymes that aid digestion and insulin that helps your body process sugar.
Pancreatic cancer is most prone to people around the age of 45, although it has been found to affect people younger as well. The cause is still unclear, however certain factors which include obesity, chronic inflammation of the pancreas, diabetes which can increase your risk.
Pancreatic cancer is hard to detect in its early stage and it spreads fast, affecting other parts of your body. For this reason it is referred to as a silent disease. Though not detectable in its early stages there are some early signs of it you need to be aware of. .
Pain in the upper abdomen that spreads to the back, which is persistent when you lean forward.
Back pain .
Vague indigestion or abdominal discomfort .
Loss of appetite .
Pain when eating .
Nausea and vomiting .
Fatty stools that are often pale and have a foul smell(Steatorrhea)
All these symptoms can have other causes, and there is not yet a reliable and easy test for pancreatic cancer. Some Of This Symptoms Well Explained:Jaundice
Half of patients will have yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, when they first go to the doctor. This can be related to the tumor blocking the bile duct which leads to a build-up in the liver.
Jaundice can also cause itchiness on the hands and feet, especially the palms and soles. If you have any sign of jaundice, contact your doctor for possible causes as this symptoms are common to many liver and gallbladder diseases as well as signs of pancreatic cancer. Pain in the abdomen and upper back
Approximately 70% of patients with pancreatic cancer go to their doctors because of pain. This pain is often described as beginning in the stomach area and spreading around the upper back just above where a woman's bra strap would be.
The pain gets worse when lying down than sitting up. The cause of thus generally is because of the tumor pressing against the abdomen and spine.
If you are experiencing persistent, mild to moderate abdominal pain, consult your doctor. Most cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed in patients visiting the ER complaining of severe abdominal pain. Bowel changes
A tumor in the pancreas can cause bowel disturbance which means you do not absorb food properly. This will result in regular, large bowel movements of pale and smelly stool. This can also cause unexplained and sudden weight loss. Diabetes
Diabetes is due to a deficiency in insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. A tumor can stop the pancreas from producing insulin, leading to an onset of diabetes in the early stages of pancreatic cancer.
You can detect you have diabetes if you have low energy, pass urine more frequently,and feel extremely thirsty. Nausea and vomiting
Nausea followed by vomiting is another sign of pancreatic cancer. As the tumor grows, it can block some portion of the digestive tract, which hampers the overall digestion process. Along with this, you may also experience heartburn and acid reflux.
Try peppermint or ginger tea as well as limiting your water intake with meals, but drink water between meals to reduce nausea.
If these symptoms persist or tend to worsen after eating and its becoming difficult for you to eat anything without throwing up, please consult your doctor.
If you experience ONE OR MORE of these symptoms listed which are NOT NORMAL FOR YOU, DO NOT IGNORE THEM, contact you DOCTOR straight away.