Pancreatic cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening form of cancer that affects the pancreas, a small organ located behind the stomach. It is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of just 9%. Early detection is key to improving the chances of survival, so it is important to be aware of the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer and how to spot them.
The most common symptom of pancreatic cancer is abdominal pain. This pain may be felt in the upper abdomen, near the rib cage, or in the back. It may be a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing pain. Other symptoms may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue.
In addition to these symptoms, there are some other signs that may indicate pancreatic cancer. These include changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea, and dark urine. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor right away.
Your doctor may order a variety of tests to diagnose pancreatic cancer, including blood tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the pancreas and examined under a microscope. This can help determine if cancer cells are present.
If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these.
Pancreatic cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening form of cancer. It is important to be aware of the common symptoms and how to spot them. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to see your doctor right away. Early detection is key to improving the chances of survival.