PANCREATIC CANCER

PANCREATIC CANCER

The Pancreas is an organ which produces substances ( enzymes) which aid digestion. The pancreas is also a gland which produces hormones ( insulin) that regulate sugar levels.

A cancer could crop up in it called Pancreatic Cancer.

Signs of pancreatic cancer
1. Abdominal pain that radiates to your back.
2. Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss.
3. Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
4. Light-colored stools.
5. Dark-colored urine.
6. Itchy skin.
7. New diagnosis of diabetes or existing diabetes that’s becoming more difficult to control.
8. Blood clots.

Life Expectancy of Pancreatic Cancer

Up to 10 percent of patients who receive an early diagnosis become disease-free after treatment. For patients who are diagnosed before the tumor grows much or spreads, the average pancreatic cancer survival time is 3 to 3.5 years.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer
– Smoking-cigarettes, cigars and using other forms of tobacco.
– Obesity is also a risk factor. – Carrying weight around the waist is a risk factor even if you do not have obesity.
– Having diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity.
– Being exposed to chemicals used by dry cleaners and metal workers.
– Having chronic pancreatitis, a permanent inflammation of the pancreas usually associated with smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol.

There are also risk factors that you can’t change. These include:

1. Hereditary chronic pancreatitis due to gene changes (mutations) passed from parent to child.
2. Hereditary syndromes with gene changes (mutations) in genes — such as BRCA genes passed from parent to child.
3. Being older than 45.
4. Being male.
5. Being Black.

Though the whole story or outlook looks gloomy and scary, the good news is that Pancreatic cancer can be cured.
Though it has a poor survival rate, it can potentially be cured if detected and treated very early.

How to prevent Pancreatic Cancer

1. Don’t smoke. If you do smoke or use tobacco in any form, try to quit.
2. Try to reach and maintain a normal weight by eating healthy and exercising.
3. Drink alcohol in moderation, or quit drinking altogether.
4. Try to avoid getting diabetes. If you have it, control your blood sugar levels.
5. Use safety equipment if your work exposes you to toxins.

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