Pancreatic cancer is a type of fatal cancer that affects the cells in the pancreas, which is located just beneath the stomach in the human body. This particular form of cancer is common amongst both men and women, and the American Cancer Society estimates that there are a minimum of 38,000 pancreatic cancer related deaths each year in the United States alone. Pancreatic cancer spreads quickly throughout the body, therefore even when it is caught early; it still often proves itself to be fatal. This is generally because the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer cannot be felt or experienced until the later stages.
Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
It is important to remember that the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer can mimic a number of gastrointestinal conditions, so a home diagnosis is not always the best option.
Common signs and symptoms include:
Pancreatic cancer ranks as one of the top 10 common forms of cancer in the United States. It is most common amongst those who are over the age of 50. There are several other risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer, some of which are hereditary, and others that are related to specific, ongoing health issues.
Common risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:
Available Treatment Options for Pancreatic Cancer Patients
With an average 25% survival rate, pancreatic cancer is considered one of the most deadliest forms of the disease. There are several treatment options available for those patients who do not have an advanced form of pancreatic cancer. Common treatments for this type of cancer include chemotherapy, radiation, and oftentimes, surgery. Surgery is generally the most common option if the tumors are localized. Chemotherapy and radiation are used once the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
The Prevention of Pancreatic Cancer
Although there is no sure fire way to prevent the onset of cancer, health providers advise eating a well-balanced healthy diet, not smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. Yearly checkups and cancer screenings are also especially important for those who are at risk due to genetics.