Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest common cancer. Half of people diagnosed die within 3 months.
Everyone has a pancreas (unless it has been removed).
Your pancreas does two main things.
- It makes enzymes. Enzymes help to break down food so your body can absorb it. This is part of digestion.
- It makes hormones, including insulin, which control sugar levels in the blood.
Pancreatic cancer develops when cells in the pancreas grow out of control, forming a lump. You might hear this called a tumour or mass.
There are different types of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the most common type. Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are less common – they behave differently and are treated differently.
What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms in the early stages. As the cancer grows, it may start to cause symptoms. The symptoms may not be specific to pancreatic cancer, and they may come and go to begin with. This can make pancreatic cancer hard to diagnose. Pancreatic cancer can affect both men and women in the same way.
- Tummy pain or back pain
- Weight Loss
Other symptoms can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Change of bowel habits
- Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes and itchy skin)
- Recently diagnosed diabetes
- Problems digesting food such as feeling full quickly when you eat, bloating, burping or wind
- Feeling or being sick
- Blood clots
- Feeling very tired (fatigue)
These symptoms can be caused by lots of things, and are unlikely to be pancreatic cancer. If you are not feeling well and you have any of the symptoms on this page, speak to your GP to check if there is anything wrong. Econsult, an online consultation, can help you get in touch with your own GP surgery at: Econsult
Pancreatic Cancer UK Helpline
Find more information at : Pancreatic Cancer UK website