Pancreatic cancer develops from the cells of a digestive organ called the pancreas. It is broadly divided into 2 categories. Cancer originating from the endocrine pancreas is called the pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor and cancer originating from the exocrine pancreas are islet cancer. The second type is rare and grows slowly when compared to endocrine pancreatic cancers.
Some of the early signs of pancreatic cancer:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Appetite loss
- Abdominal pain that radiates to your back
- Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- Light-colored stools
- Dark-colored urine
- Itchy skin
- Blood clots
Some of the common factors that increase the risk of pancreatic cancer
- Long-standing diabetes
- More consumption of red and processed meat
- Chronic and hereditary pancreatitis
- Old age
Pancreatic cancer progresses, it can cause complications such as:
1. Weight loss
A number of factors may cause weight loss in people with pancreatic cancer. Weight loss might happen as cancer consumes the body's energy.
Pancreatic cancer that blocks the liver's bile duct can cause jaundice. Signs include yellow skin and eyes, dark-colored urine, and pale-colored stools. Jaundice usually occurs without abdominal pain.
A growing tumor may press on nerves in your abdomen, causing pain that can become severe. Pain medications can help you feel more comfortable. Treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, might help slow tumor growth and provide some pain relief.
4. Bowel obstruction
Pancreatic cancer that grows into or presses on the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) can block the flow of digested food from your stomach into your intestines.
Smarter diagnostic tools are available to help map cancers better and help to find whether the disease is localised or has spread to other regions. Minimally invasive procedures like endoscopic ultrasound, cholangioscopy help doctors to detect cancer at the early stage and also give a definitive diagnosis for pancreatic cancer.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or medical advice.
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