Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed in the advanced stages (Stage 3 and Stage 4) because symptoms are rarely present in the early stages. Pancreatic cancer consists of 3% of all cancer cases in the United States and only 10% are early-stage cancer. For a patient’s pancreatic cancer to be classified as stage 3, the cancer must have spread from the pancreas to other areas of the body. Either the cancer has spread to four or more lymph nodes nearby, or metastasized to the nearby major blood vessels surrounding the pancreas, which include:
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms can occur before or after pancreatic cancer is diagnosed. Pancreatic cancer affects the tissues in the pancreas, the organ that releases enzymes to help digestion, and produces hormones that control the sugar in your blood.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms can be noticed with nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, slow developing jaundice, obstruction and pain in the stomach outlet. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), develops in the ducts that carry digestive enzymes from the pancreas to the body. Pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed after it has progressed because symptoms do not often occur until the cancer is in the advanced stages.
An estimated 57,600 adults will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States this year. It is also estimated that 47,050 deaths from pancreatic cancer will occur, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The American Cancer Society reports that the 5-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is 9%, while the 5-year rate for distant pancreatic cancer is just 3%. Although that may seem low, Stage 4 pancreatic cancer survivors do exist.
Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas. It occurs when digestive enzymes become energetic inside the pancreas, attacking, and damaging its tissues. It can prevent you from properly absorbing nutrients from the meals you eat and producing hormones that help regulate blood sugar. There are risk factors for pancreatic cancer that can be controlled, and risk factors that cannot be.
Risk factors for pancreatic cancer can be behaviors and characteristics, but they can also be genetic. It is important to try and avoid the risk factors that you can for pancreatic cancer, because most pancreatic cancer cases go undetected until it is advanced and troublesome to treat. In the overwhelming majority of circumstances, signs only develop after pancreatic cancer has grown and begun to spread.
Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow and divide out of control and form a tumor. The pancreas is a gland located deep in the abdomen, between the stomach and the spine. It makes enzymes that help digestion and hormones that control blood-sugar levels.
According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate of pancreatic cancer is 9 percent. Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in men more often than women. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, diabetes, chronic inflammation of the pancreas, obesity, and older age. Most people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are 65 years or older.Read more “What Is Pancreatic Cancer?”