I’m a doctor and I wish everyone knew this about the signs of pancreatic cancer — eat this, not that

I’m a doctor and I wish everyone knew this about the signs of pancreatic cancer — eat this, not that

Thanks to screenings that can help detect cancer early and advances in medicine, cancer has become more treatable and survival rates have increased for several types of cancer. The American Cancer Society states, “The risk of dying from cancer in the United States has decreased over the past 28 years according to annual statistics published by the American Cancer Society (ACS). The cancer death rate for men and women combined has fallen 32% from its peak in 1991 to 2019, the most recent year for which data was available. Part of this decline appears to be related to an increase in the percentage of lung cancer patients living longer after diagnosis, in part because more people are being diagnosed at an earlier stage of the disease.”

However, it is not easy to beat cancer and there are still many types that are difficult to diagnose in the early stages, reducing the survival rate such as pancreatic cancer. The ACS explains: “Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early. The pancreas is deep in the body, so doctors cannot see or feel early tumors during routine physical examinations. People usually have no symptoms until the cancer is very large or has already spread to other organs.”

An estimated “62,210 people (32,970 men and 29,240 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year,” according to the data. ACS and “About 49,830 people (25,970 men and 23,860 women) will die from pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the US and about 7% of all cancer deaths. It is slightly more common in men than in women .” CNN reports, “About 95% of people with pancreatic cancer die from it, experts say. It’s so deadly because during the early stages, when the tumor might be best treated, there are usually no symptoms. It’s usually discovered in the advanced stages when there may be abdominal pain or jaundice. There are currently no general screening tools.”

Knowing the risk factors and early symptoms can save your life and Eat this, not that! Zdravlje spoke to experts who share what you need to know about pancreatic cancer. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss them Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.


Dr. Kimmerle Cohenhepatopancreaticobiliary surgeon and surgical oncologist with Palm Beach Health Network Physician Group (PBHNPG), head of surgery at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and employees in Good Samaritan Medical Center tells us, “Pancreatic cancer has the highest death rate of any major cancer. It is currently the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, after lung and colon cancer. It is difficult to detect because its symptoms may not be present until late in the disease. “

Debashish BoseMD PhD FACS, director of surgical oncology, director of the Hepatobiliary Disease Center, Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore says, “People should know that, unfortunately, pancreatic cancer has a very poor prognosis and is on the rise. The pancreas is a gland that produces digestive enzymes and hormones that control blood sugar and digestive tract activity. Most pancreatic cancers arise from cells that make up the lining of the tubes that carry digestive juices to the intestines, called ducts.”

A doctor in a white medical laboratory box points with a ballpoint pen to an anatomical model of a human or animal pancreas

dr. Cohen says, “Pancreatic cancer does not have an early detection test or a routine screening procedure to detect it. Only patients with strong genetic factors have screening protocols for early detection. Pancreatic cancer will require more research and more funding to find early detection tests. As of now, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer is a dismal 9 percent. Surgery is the only chance for a cure, and only 20 percent of pancreatic cancer cases are candidates for surgery. If there is no further research or development, pancreatic cancer will become the second leading cause of death from cancer.”

dr. Bose adds, “Because of its location, pancreatic cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s advanced. There is no screening tool for pancreatic cancer, like colonoscopy or mammography. There are no good blood tests to screen for pancreatic cancer, like PSA. For some people, it can be done surgery to remove pancreatic cancer, which is the only way to achieve “long-term” survival, but in the best circumstances, people with pancreatic cancer live an average of 2-3 years after diagnosis, and only about 1 in 4 people who can undergo surgery survive 5 years. “

Pensive girl sitting on doorstep hugging knees looking at window, sad depressed teenage girl spending time alone at home, young upset pensive woman feeling lonely or frustrated thinking about problems

dr. Cohen explains, “Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include weight loss, high blood sugar, epigastric pain, jaundice and nausea.”


According to Art article wrote physicians T. Geukens, MD, and J. Verheezen, MD, “Since the early 1930s, an association between pancreatic cancer and depression has been observed. The prevalence of depression is higher in patients with pancreatic cancer than in patients with other abdominal neoplasms, and psychiatric symptoms often precede somatic symptoms. Despite further research into this co-occurrence, the true mechanism of interaction is still unclear. Knowing what constitutes the biological link between depression and pancreatic tumors could be of great importance for future diagnostic and therapeutic management of these patients. Various theories have been proposed. It is likely that depression is caused by cytokines, specifically IL-6, changes in the tryptophan-kynurenine, glutamate, and serotonin pathways, and antibodies that interfere directly with the brain or through serotonin. Cancer-causing depression is also possible, but until currently unknown significance for pancreatic cancer All this information together makes the symptoms of depression diagnostically important for pancreatic cancer father. The findings pave the way for the development of targeted therapies, which we hope will be implemented in clinical practice in the future.”

Gallbladder or liver enlargement

The American Cancer Society says, “If cancer blocks the bile duct, bile can build up in the gallbladder, making it larger. Sometimes a doctor can feel it (as a large lump under the right side of the chest) during a physical exam. It can also be seen on imaging tests. Cancer The pancreas can also sometimes enlarge the liver, especially if the cancer has spread there. The doctor may feel the edge of the liver under the right rib cage on exam, or a large liver may be visible on imaging tests.”

Nausea and vomiting

The ACS states, “If the cancer presses on the end of the stomach, it can partially block it, making it difficult for food to pass through. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and pain that gets worse after eating.”

Stomach or back pain

According to the ACS, “pain in the abdomen (belly) or back is common with pancreatic cancer. Cancer that starts in the body or tail of the pancreas can grow quite large and begin to press on other nearby organs, causing pain. Cancer can also spread to nerves that surround the pancreas, which often causes back pain. Abdominal or back pain is quite common and is most often caused by something other than pancreatic cancer.”

Blood clots

The ACS explains, “Sometimes the first sign that someone has pancreatic cancer is a blood clot in a large vein, often in the leg. This is called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected leg. Sometimes a piece of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, which can make breathing difficult or cause chest pain. A blood clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism, or PE. However, having a blood clot usually does not mean you have cancer. Most blood clots are caused by other things.”

The Mayo Clinic says, “Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer often don’t appear until the disease is advanced. They may include:

  • Abdominal pain that spreads to the back
  • Loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Light colored chairs
  • Dark colored urine
  • Itchy skin
  • A new diagnosis of diabetes or existing diabetes that is becoming more difficult to control
  • Blood clots
  • Fatigue
Portrait of a confident doctor in a private clinic

dr. Cohen states, “It is very common to have pancreatic cancer and not know you have it. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early. The pancreas is deep in the body, so early tumors cannot be seen or felt by health care providers during routine physical exams. People they usually have no symptoms until the cancer has become very large or has already spread to other organs.”

Nancy Mitchell, Registered Nurse s Center for disabled people shares, “The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer tend to mimic other diseases. For example, pain in the middle of the back can be a sign of pain and inflammation of the pancreas. But most people pass it off as a muscle strain or a possible back injury. Patients tend to wait until they have triad or more symptoms to see a doctor. By then, the cancer has already developed.”

A doctor with a glucometer and an insulin pen talks to a male patient in a medical office in a hospital.

dr. Cohen says, “Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include obesity, smoking, chronic pancreatitis, and long-standing diabetes. The most important risk factor is a family history of pancreatic cancer.”

Mitchell adds, “Limit or abstain from alcohol. Alcohol causes pancreatic juices to thicken, which can create blockages in the ducts, leading to inflammation. We call this condition ‘pancreatitis.’ Inflammation is a cancer promoter, so the goal is to limit inflammatory triggers in to the body.”

The ACS says: “Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for pancreatic cancer. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about twice as high among people who smoke compared to those who have never smoked. About 25% of pancreatic cancers are thought to be caused by cigarette smoking. Smoking cigars and the use of smokeless tobacco products also increase the risk.However, the risk of pancreatic cancer begins to fall when a person stops smoking.

Being overweight (obesity) is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Obese people (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or more) are about 20% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. Gaining weight in adulthood can also increase the risk. Carrying excess weight around the waist can be a risk factor even in people who are not overweight.

Pancreatic cancer is more common in people with diabetes. The reason for this is unknown. Most of the risks exist in people with type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is on the rise in children and adolescents because obesity is also increasing in these age groups. Type 2 diabetes in adults is also often associated with being overweight or obese. It is not clear whether people with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes have a higher risk.”

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