The pancreas is an organ located in your abdomen. It helps in the digestion of food and regulates blood sugar levels. However, pancreatic cancer can affect its functions and endanger your life.
This cancer usually begins in the tissues of the organ and spreads to nearby organs in no time. Due to this rapid growth, it’s not easy to diagnose it during the early stages.
Causes of Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers are still not sure about the actual cause of pancreatic cancer. However, the following factors increase the risk of developing this chronic condition:
- Genetic disorders
- A family history of pancreatic cancer
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is seldom diagnosed during the early stages. It’s because it rapidly spreads and affects nearby organs before you know it. However, if you’re aware of its symptoms, it’ll be easier for you to self-diagnose this pancreatic disease and recover with the right treatment option.
When tumours form in tissues surrounding the pancreas, they press on nerves in your abdomen. It may cause mild to severe pain.
If abdomen pain prevails for a few days, it’s best to see your doctor. They will perform a series of tests to determine whether you have developed pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer often leads to weight loss. It’s because it affects the functions of your digestive system. Moreover, you’ll feel nauseous, which is why it won’t be easy for you to consume food.
As pancreatic cancer progresses, it blocks the bile duct of your liver. You can diagnose it with its common symptoms such as dark-coloured urine, yellow eyes and skin, and pale-coloured stool. You should visit your doctor at the earliest to treat this condition.
Pancreatic cancer can grow into your small intestine. As a result, it blocks the flow of digested food from your stomach to intestines. This is the reason why a majority of pancreatic cancer patients experience constipation.
Patients also experience diarrhoea quite often. Since this disease reduces the production of pancreatic enzymes, watery and foul-smelling stools are quite common.
Pancreatic cancer is usually accompanied by diabetes. It’s the most common symptom of pancreatic disease among people aged 50 or older. If you have a low BMI and have no family history of diabetes, you ought to see your doctor for early diagnosis of cancer.
Your doctor can provide you with in-depth pancreatic cancer treatment information.
Whipple procedure is the recommended treatment option for pancreatic cancer. However, this treatment works only if cancer is diagnosed during the early stages and it is contained within the pancreas. The surgeon may remove a portion of your stomach to get rid of tumours.
Adjuvant therapy, also referred to as chemotherapy, is the recommended procedure after the surgery. It reduces the risk of recurrent cancer and aids you in living a healthy life.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications to alleviate the symptoms of cancer. These medicines reduce pain and speed up the recovery process after the surgery and chemotherapy.