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Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Published by monica on Sunday, February 24, 2013

Photo credit by sweetiepetitti

Although far less common when compared to other forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer is the 4th deadliest cancer diagnosis. The reason pancreatic cancer is so deadly is due to its silent nature. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads and goes undetected until in advanced stages. Detection of pancreatic cancer typically comes too late for treatment to be effective and for this reason is frequently given a terminal prognosis. Understanding the few distinguishable symptoms of pancreatic cancer can help lead to an earlier detection.

The likeliness of symptoms of pancreatic cancer being detectable is dependent upon location. Cancer in the head of the pancreas is far more likely to present symptoms than when located in the body or tail. Pancreatic cancer symptoms in some cases do not present themselves until the cancer has grown outside the pancreas.

The common symptoms of pancreatic cancer generally occur near the abdomen. This is due to the pancreas being in such close proximity to our digestive systems. The most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer involve severe abdominal and lower back pain. Other symptoms of pancreatic cancer include bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

The most distinguishable symptom of cancer pertains to stool. When an individual has pancreatic cancer, the stool is an undeniable detector. Stool in an individual affected by pancreatic cancer tends to bear a great deal of fat. Excess fat content in the stool is referred to as steatorrhea. Steatorrhea has the tendency to make stool more foul smelling. In addition to it having a more distinct odor, the fat content will make the stool float more so than usual.

These are contained symptoms of pancreatic cancer, pertaining only to the area of the cancer itself. Pancreatic cancer also presents symptoms that affect the body as a whole. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer that affect the whole body include malaise and severe weight loss. Individuals with pancreatic cancer may also experience an onset of high blood sugar. Skin and the whites of the eyes can also become jaundiced when an individual has pancreatic cancer.

One of the prominent risk factors of developing pancreatic cancer is diabetes. Individuals that are diabetic are at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer than non diabetics. The link between the conditions at this point is not fully understood.

Early detection of pancreatic cancer is vital to treatment being effective. Being knowledgeable of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer can hopefully lead to early detection. Practically 1 in 70 is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer too late. If you have any of these symptoms, or are at risk of pancreatic cancer by family history or diabetes ask your physician to test you.

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