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 signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
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 constant or intermittent, and may be worse after eating or when lying down. Other symptoms may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor right away. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and may order tests such as blood tests, imaging tests, or a biopsy to determine if cancer is present.
In addition to the physical symptoms, there are also some risk factors that can increase your chances of developing pancreatic cancer. These include smoking, obesity, diabetes, and a family history of the disease. If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to talk to your doctor about your risk and what steps you can take to reduce it.
Pancreatic cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening form of cancer, but early detection and treatment can improve the chances of survival. If you experience any of the symptoms or risk factors associated with pancreatic cancer, it is important to see your doctor right away. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome.