Pancreatic cancer originates in the tissues of the pancreas and may slowly spread to the rest of the body. The pancreas is the organ that lies horizontally behind the lower region of the stomach. The cancer first spreads to the nearby organs before affecting the rest of the body. The problem with pancreatic cancer is that it is difficult to detect its onset in its early stages. One of the common signs of pancreatic cancer is diabetes. When it occurs along with jaundice, weight loss or pain in the upper abdomen, chances are one might be suffering from pancreatic cancer. Here are a few of the early signs of pancreatic cancer.
Signs and symptoms one should heed
There are two types of pancreatic cancers that contribute to over 10 signs of pancreatitis—exocrine pancreatic cancers and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors; these types exhibit several symptoms. It does not necessarily mean that one may be suffering from one form of the cancer or the other if one or more symptoms are experienced at the same time. Nevertheless, it is imperative to get an appointment with a doctor and go for a check-up. Here are a few common signs and symptoms of the two types of pancreatic cancer.
Exocrine pancreatic cancer symptoms
- Jaundice and related symptoms
- Belly or back pain
- Weight loss and poor appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gallbladder and liver enlargement
- Blood clots
- Fatty tissue abnormalities
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor symptoms
- Carcinoid tumors
- Non-functioning neuroendocrine tumors
Symptoms caused due to the spread of the cancer
When the cancer first spreads, the first organ to be affected is generally the liver. The liver gets enlarged and it can lead to immense pain and loss of appetite. It can also lead to jaundice. If cancer spreads to the lungs, it can cause shortness of breath. If the cancer spreads to the bones, it can cause immense pain in the bones.
Pancreatic cancer does not have any known causes although smoking is considered to be a major risk factor. If one is a chain smoker, the likelihood of them contracting the disease is higher. As is the case with all forms of cancer, the earlier one seeks treatment, the greater will be the chances of survival. There are various treatment options available for pancreatic cancer. They include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Identify the pancreatic cancer signs and start the treatment process immediately.