Top 10 Early Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms In Females
In 2021, the American Cancer Society estimated that approximately 48960 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It makes up about 3% of all kinds of cancers in the US but accounts for up to 7% of cancer deaths.
In fact, pancreatic cancer starts in your pancreas tissues, which is a pear-shaped organ seated at the lower area of the stomach.
Cells in your pancreas will begin to multiply out of your control and then form a mass, which causes a cancerous tumor. This condition may damage the 2 main functions of your pancreas, including secreting insulin that assists your body in processing sugar and enzymes aiding digestion. This disease almost occurs after the age of 45 although it may also affect to younger people.
Until now, people have not found the exact reason causing this cancer however, there are some certain factors increasing your risk of pancreatic cancer such as pancreatitis, obesity, inherited gene mutations and family history of this kind of cancer, excessive smoking, and diabetes. Besides, African-Americans also have a higher chance of getting this problem.
It is difficult to detect pancreatic cancer early and this cancer often spreads rapidly, which affects to other body parts. This is the reason why people call it as a silent disease.
How Is Pancreatitis Diagnosed
As with most diseases, diagnosis of pancreatitis often begins with a medical history review and a physical examination.
Your doctor will also order a blood test and, possibly, one or more imaging tests, such as:
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan, particularly magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, which visualizes the biliary and pancreatic ducts
What Is Acute And Chronic Pancreatitis
Inflammation of the pancreas is termed pancreatitis and its inflammation has various causes. The pancreas is a gland located in the upper part of the abdomen. It produces two main types of substances, digestive juices, and digestive hormones. Once the gland becomes inflamed, the pancreatitis can progress to swelling of the pancreas and surrounding blood vessels, bleeding, infection, and damage to the gland, which causes digestive juices become trapped and start “digesting” the pancreas itself. If this damage persists, the gland may not be able to carry out normal functions.
Pancreatitis may be acute or chronic . Either type can be very severe, even life threatening. Either type can have serious complications.
Acute pancreatitis usually begins soon after the damage to the pancreas begins. Attacks are typically very mild, but about 20% of them are very severe. An attack lasts for a short time and usually resolves completely as the pancreas returns to its normal state. Some people have only one attack, whereas other people have more than one attack, but the pancreas always returns to its normal state unless necrotizing pancreatitis develops and becomes life threatening.
Chronic pancreatitis begins as acute pancreatitis. If the pancreas becomes scarred during the attack of acute pancreatitis, it cannot return to its normal state. The damage to the gland continues, worsening over time.
Acute Pancreatitis Symptoms and Signs
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Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment
- Chemoradiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatitis
There are two types of pancreatitis: acute pancreatitis, meaning the inflammation is sudden and will likely heal over time with treatment and chronic pancreatitis, in which the inflammation does not improve and instead gets worse over time. Signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis differ from those of chronic pancreatitis.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:
- Pain in the Upper Abdomen That Radiates to Your Back
- Abdominal Pain Worsens After Eating, Especially Foods High in Fat
- Abdomen Is Tender to the Touch
If repeated instances of acute pancreatitis occur, the associated damage could result in chronic pancreatitis.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are:
- Pain in the Upper Abdomen
- Oily, Foul-Smelling Stools
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What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms Or Signs Of Pancreatic Cancer Or Pancreatitis
If you have any of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer Seek immediate medical attention If the pain, unexplained weight loss, or jaundice persists despite initial medical treatments, further evaluation should be pursued in as soon as possible.
Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
In most people, the pain and nausea associated with pancreatitis are severe enough to seek medical attention from a doctor or other health-care professional.
If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away and get medical attention.
- Inability to take medication or to drink and eat because of nausea or vomiting
- Severe pain not relieved by nonprescription medications
- Unexplained pain
What Is Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most common type of pancreatic cancer. This type of cancer of the pancreas originates in the exocrine glands. Islet cell tumor or pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer is a different type of cancer that arises in the endocrine glands of the pancreas.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is among the most aggressive of all cancers. By the time that pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, many people already have disease that has spread to distant sites in the body . Pancreatic cancer is also relatively resistant to medical treatment, and the only potentially curative treatment is surgery. In 2010, approximately 43,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and approximately 36,000 people died of this disease. These numbers reflect the challenge in treating pancreatic cancer and the relative lack of curative options.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer: A Population
- Elizabeth A. HollyCorrespondenceAddress requests for reprints to: Elizabeth A. Holly, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 280, San Francisco, California 94118-1944 USA. Fax: 563-4602AffiliationsDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USADepartment of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA
Tummy Pain Or Back Pain
Tummy pain or back pain are common symptoms of pancreatic cancer. The pain may start as general discomfort or tenderness in the tummy area and spread to the back.
Some people have no pain at all, and pain can vary from person to person. For example, it may come and go at first but become more constant over time. It can be worse when lying down, and sitting forward can sometimes make it feel better. It may be worse after eating.
If you are over 60, have lost weight and have tummy or back pain, your GP should refer you for an urgent CT scan or ultrasound scan within two weeks.
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How Does Chronic Heartburn Relate To Pancreatic Cancer
Chronic heartburn is one of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer that masks itself as something else. Many people who suffer from chronic heartburn will visit their general practitioner, usually after having tried over the counter medicines such as Gaviscon and Rennies or Zantax, which is slightly stronger. Depending on the presentation of the symptoms, a general practitioner may prescribe stronger medication such as Lansoprazole. If the heartburn persists, a general practitioner would usually refer the patient for an endoscopy.
Chronic heartburn pancreatic cancer symptoms are often not recognised for what they are, even once the patient receives an endoscopy, as this looks at the wrong part of the stomach.
Causes Of Chronic Pancreatitis
The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over many years.
This can cause repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis, which results in increasing damage to the organ.
In children the most common cause is cystic fibrosis.
Less common causes include:
In some cases, no cause can be identified. This is called idiopathic chronic pancreatitis.
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Mayo Clinic Minute: Understanding Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer can be a frightening diagnosis. Compared to most other cancers, survival rates are much lower and death often occurs at a more rapid pace. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, a leading expert in pancreatic cancer at Mayo Clinic explains more about the disease and potential future improvements in treating and screening for it.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg is in the downloads at the end of the post.Please Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network. Read the script.
Pancreatic cancer is the most lethal cancer in the human body with overall five-year survival rates at just about 7 percent, despite all the advances over the past decades, says Dr. Santhi Swaroop Vege, director of the pancreatic diseases group at Mayo Clinic.
There are no telltale signs for pancreatic cancer, and symptoms like weight loss, abdominal pain, jaundice and appetite loss are nonspecific.
“That’s one of the biggest problems we face,” says Dr. Vege. “Usually, these people will have indigestion, acid reflux … before finally somebody thinks of doing a CT scan. And by that time, it’s already late.”
He says treatments can be any combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and endoscopic procedures.
“If it is localized to the pancreas and if it is not involving the major structures, then the best treatment, of course, is resection a big surgery,” says Dr. Vege.
What Is Chronic Heartburn
Heartburn occurs in a very large percentage of the population and is caused by a surplus of stomach acids that travel back up through the oesophagus. However, a minority of people find they suffer from chronic heartburn, which means that it is always present. Generally, heartburn is caused by too much coffee or nicotine, although different substances affect people in different ways. For example, many people who suffer from heartburn will find eating tomatoes or cucumber sets it off. Those who suffer from chronic heartburn, however, will have heartburn at all times, regardless of what they eat or drink. However, they will find certain substances may make the heartburn worse.
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Acute And Chronic Pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is when the condition appears suddenly and lasts for days. Depending on the severity, acute pancreatitis can be life-threatening. Gallstones and heavy alcohol use are common causes. Acute pancreatitis may occur within hours or as long as two days after consuming alcohol.
Chronic pancreatitis is when the condition occurs over several years, and does not heal or improve. It develops most often in people between the ages of 30 and 40 and is often linked to years of heavy alcohol use.
Chronic pancreatitis can be triggered by a single acute attack that causes damage to the pancreatic duct. That damage causes inflammation and scar tissue, which slowly destroys the pancreas.
Other Symptoms Of Acute Pancreatitis
In addition to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting are hallmark symptoms of acute pancreatitis. The stress on various systems can also cause those with the condition to appear as ill as they are. They may look pale, sweaty, and in distress.
Other symptoms include:
- Clay-colored stools
Because pancreatitis causes a drop in your digestive enzyme supply, you can’t sufficiently break down food. When you can’t sufficiently break down food, it isn’t absorbed as it needs to be, and this is what creates a change in the nature of stools. This difficulty absorbing food and its nutrients can lead to weight loss as well.
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Chronic Pancreatitis And Gas Bloating And Flatulence
The majority of the patients with chronic pancreatitis have the regular gas, bloating, belching, and flatulence after meals. They consider these symptoms as normal, take OTC or prescription medications counting on a quick fix.
What causes these symptoms and many other digestive problems in case of chronic pancreatitis?
Knowing the real reasons may help with treatment by focusing on the roots of the problems.
The key reason for that is indigestion in the small intestine. It is known small intestine is a 25-30 feet long tube chamber where 90% of the fat and 50% of the proteins and carbohydrates are digested and assimilated. Pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile break up food into tiny particles, which can go through the guts wall into the blood and lymph, so the human being can utilize these particles to make cells and tissues.
The indigested food chunks are fermented in the small and large intestines by bacteria and yeasts with producing a lot of intestinal gas. This gas consists of hydrogen, methane, sulfur, and nitro compounds. This toxic matter goes through the guts wall and poisons the entire body. The toxins poison the digestive, nervous, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal systems. Very often people with gas, bloating, and foul flatulence also suffer from fatigue, headache, allergy, depression, anxiety, palpitations, skin rashes, fibromyalgia, PMS, erectile dysfunction, low thyroid, and more.
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When Gallstones Are Present
If a gallstone is blocking one of the pancreatic ducts, the gallstone will also need to be removed. If it is mild disease, the surgery should be done within seven days of acute pancreatitis. If it is severe disease, you may be advised to wait until after active inflammation subsides to try to prevent future episodes of pancreatitis.
A computer axial tomography scan may also be used to find out what is happening in and around the pancreas and the severity of the problem. This is important information that the doctor will use to determine when to remove the gallstones.
After the gallstones are removed and inflammation subsides, the pancreas usually returns to normal.
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Where Is The Pain Of Pancreatitis Felt
The most common symptom of both acute and chronic pancreatitis is pain in the upper abdominal area, usually under the ribs. This pain:
- May be mild at first and get worse after eating or drinking
- May become constant, severe, and last for several days
- Tends to worsen while lying down on the back and lessen while leaning forward in a sitting position
- Often radiates throughout the back
- Is not aggravated by movement
- Is not dull or located in the lower abdominal area
The abdominal pain may also differ depending on the cause of the pancreatitis.
The pain of gallstone pancreatitis, for instance, is usually sudden, stabbing, and may radiate to the back.
The pain of alcoholic pancreatitis, on the other hand, may develop more slowly and be less localized.
Why Does It Happen Let Us Explain
Bile is an alkaline fluid with a gentle balance of water, bicarbonates, minerals, lecithin, cholesterol, bile pigments, and bile acids and bile salts. If bile is acidic, bile acids precipitate in it. It is known bile acids are exceptionally aggressive chemical substances. They make the acidic bile so corroded and irritable. The acidic bile irritates and injures the surrounding tissues, bile ducts, gallbladder, and sphincter of Oddi causing spasms, inflammation, ulcers. When the aggressive acidic mix of bile and pancreatic juice gets duodenum, it can create the chaotic spasms, and throws it up in the stomach and even into an esophagus. So there is bile reflux.
In the acidic pancreas and bile fictional stage, there are occasional heartburns after large, fatty dinner with alcohol. Lab tests are normal, in the gastroscopy can be seen slightly inflammation in the duodenum, and stomach. Typically, a patient gets the diagnosis-GERD and treatment with the stomach acid suppressors. The person continues acidic lifestyle and alcohol consumption thus, his condition deteriorates.
Ignoring that leads to the pancreatic failure. Besides the symptoms, which are described as chronic pancreatitis: constant abdominal and chest pain, indigestion with chronic diarrhea with oily stool, nausea, vomiting weight loss, fatigue, in the gastroscopy can be seen Barretts Esophagus.
The whole body acidity can be managed in a few ways:
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Weakness And Constant Fatigue
If you feel weak and fatigued despite no physical activity, this may be one of the early pancreatic cancer symptoms.
In this condition, fatigue can be caused by the growth of the tumor size day by day, lacking sleep because of pain and other reasons as well as anemia because of losing appetite.
Besides, not eating properly also affects to the level of energy and then you can feel that you have to relax and sleep.
So, remember if you feel fatigued and weak even after you get more time to rest and sleep, you should see the doctor immediately to get diagnosed with your condition.
It may be a symptom of various cancers or other health conditions. Early diagnosis will increase the rate of cure.
Six Signs Your Heartburn Could Be Something More Serious
That burning, uncomfortable sensation in your chest? Itâs probably heartburn. Heartburn is a very common ailment that affects many people for many reasons. It occurs when digestive acid escapes the stomach and irritates the delicate lining of the esophagus.
Usually, itâs the result of eating certain foods, or simply overeating, and can be treated with over-the-counter antacids. But sometimes, heartburn is a symptom of bigger problems, that require other solutions. Hereâs when to call a doctor:
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