Recognise the symptoms for World Pancreatic Cancer Day
Many of us are aware of how check ourselves for breast and prostrate cancer, but when it comes to pancreatic cancer, do you know what to look out for?
The pancreas is a large gland that’s part of the digestive system; its job it is to create digestive juices and various hormones, including insulin. When cancer occurs in this vital organ, it’s caused by an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells.
Pancreatic cancer tends to affect people in mid-life and old age, and it’s uncommon in people under the age of 40.
The tricky thing about this type of cancer is that symptoms are hard to spot in the early stages, so early diagnosis is often missed. However, there are some subtle signs to be aware of.
The earlier a cancer is picked up too, the easier it is to treat and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.
“Worldwide there are around 338,000 new cases each year; in Europe that figure is more than 104,000. In the UK, approximately 10,000 people are newly diagnosed each year,” says Ali Stunt, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action.
As today marks World Pancreatic Cancer Day, we take a look at four of the most common noticeable symptoms to look out for.
1. Pain or discomfort in the tummy
Not everyone will experience the same symptoms of pancreatic cancer, but according to Stunt, abdominal pain or discomfort is “one of the first symptoms to often present itself.”
The pain might come and go at first and feel more intense when you’re lying down or after eating. You might also find it feels better when you’re leaning forward.
Abdominal pain can be caused by all kinds of health issues, like infection, appendicitis and IBS, so it’s important not to panic if you do experience it. It is a good idea, however, to get it checked out by a doctor.
“The most obvious sign of jaundice is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, ” says Stunt. “It can also cause your urine to appear darker and your skin to itch.”
It’s caused by increased amounts of bilirubin in the blood, which can occur when if cancer in the head of the pancreas blocks the bile duct.
3. Unexplained weight loss
“This is often one of the first problems patients tell their doctors about,” notes Stunt.
If you haven’t made changes to your diet or fitness routine, it’s also wise to get any unexplained weight loss checked out by a doctor.
Sudden, noticeable weight loss can happen after a stressful event, although it can also be a sign of a serious illness too.
4. Feeling sick
When the pancreas is inflamed and swollen, it can cause you to feel nauseous, and you may also find that you’re vomiting out of the blue.
“People with pancreatic cancer also sometimes experience constipation (when your stools are very firm) or diarrhoea (passing of watery stools more than three times a day),” says Stunt.
If you have pancreatic cancer, you may also experience indigestion, loss of appetite, bloating, diarrhoea, fatigue, blood clots or deep vein thrombosis.
It’s good to bear in mind that these symptoms are common and the majority of people who will experience them will not have pancreatic cancer. There are lots of less serious health conditions that could be causing them.
However, if you’re experiencing any bodily changes that are not the norm for you, it is important to get them checked by your doctor.
Do you know the signs of pancreatic cancer? Share your experiences in the comments below
All content on Silversurfers.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Silversurfers will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.silversurfers.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silversurfers to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.
Click below to submit your question online.
SUBSCRIBE FOR AXA HEALTHCARE
AXA PPP healthcare ensure that, once you have a GP referral, you can choose who to see and where to go, from a list of approved specialists and hospitals. Making sure you get the treatment you need giving you the flexibility to manage your health around your lifestyle.
AXA PPP Private health insurance, put simply, offers you quick access to eligible health treatment, from seeing a specialist for diagnosis to having a comfortable stay while you’re in hospital.
2 Months free healthcare cover for Silversurfers subscribers Plus a choice of FREE gift when you join*
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- Life on the inside: 10 things pet owners need to know about lockdown - April 1, 2020
- 10 ways to support an isolated elderly relative - March 31, 2020
- 50 years without The Beatles – the biggest band break-up in history - March 31, 2020
- 15 bizarre things you never knew about cats - March 30, 2020
- Mr Motivator’s 6 steps for staying mentally and physically strong in lockdown - March 30, 2020
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!