Monday, February 2, 2009

Pancreas Cancer: Warning Signs‏

Pancreas Cancer: Warning Signs

An early stage of pancreatic cancer either doesn’t cause symptoms or it causes symptoms that are often misunderstood for other diseases. Symptoms appear when the tumor grows to such a size that it disturbs the normal functioning of the stomach, liver and other adjacent organs. Hence, timely diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is very rare. Pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed in its final stages, when it is too late to cure. Thus, it is sometimes referred to as silent killer. Let’s look into some of the warning signs that will help in diagnosing pancreatic cancer at the right time.

* Pancreatic cancer causes a mild pain in the abdomen. People may suffer from back pain or sometimes both. Pain is caused due to the spread of tumors to the nearby nerve tissues surrounding the affected tissues. Pain is either continuous or it occurs intermittently.
* One of the notable signs of pancreatic cancer is jaundice (yellowing of skin and sclera), which is characterized by high levels of bilirubin in the blood. Pancreatic cancer patients whose tumors are located in the head of pancreas suffer from jaundice symptoms. It is caused due to the obstruction of the bile duct that results in the abnormal synthesis of bilirubin (bile pigment).
* The pancreatic tumors block normal circulation of the digestive enzymes, hence disturbing digestion of foods in the small intestine. Thus, patients of pancreatic cancer have a problem in digesting fatty foods, proteins and carbohydrates and often suffer from digestive problems.
* Loss of weight is observed on the onset of pancreatic cancer. It is caused due to less consumption of food because of loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Weight loss is associated with other symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea.
* It is often observed that a patient of pancreatic tumor suffers from increased fatigue and depression.

Other remarkable signs of pancreatic cancer are enlargement of liver and spleen, muscle spasms, chills and blood clots. If an individual has experienced any of the symptoms listed above, then he/she should consult and seek advice from a physician. Whatever the result may be; it is always better to diagnose diseases in their early stages and take further precautions.

Treatment of pancreatic cancer (in its early stages) is done with medications, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and biological therapy. In order to reduce risks of pancreatic cancer, one should follow healthy eating habits with proper diets, control body weight and go for regular exercise.

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