Cancer is very funny. It can grow inside a person, slowly killing them from the inside for many years, without one even noticing. Then all of a sudden, they get symptoms. They are prompted to go to the doctor, but at this point it’s too late. An example of such a cancer that operates in such a cruel fashion is pancreatic cancer. This is a cancer in which the pancreas gets attacked by tumors, malignant cells that resulted from healthy cells mutating into something sinister. The tumors can stay localized to just the pancreas, but usually it will spread rather quickly into other areas of the body. Granted, it may take years for the cancer to get to this point, but due to the location of the pancreas it’s not noticeable in test until the typical signs of pancreatic cancer appear.
So, what are the signs of pancreatic cancer? Some of the signs of pancreatic cancer a person may not pay attention to. These could include weight loss or abdominal pain. Others are much more strange, so a person may be more apt to want to go to the doctor. These signs of pancreatic cancer include jaundice, (which is yellowing of the skin and eyes due to excess bilirubin in the blood) and internal bleeding within the gastrointestinal tract. These worse signs of pancreatic cancer may be accompanied by digestive problems or pain in unusual areas, such as the lower back.
If a person has any of the typical signs of pancreatic cancer, they need to go to the doctor right away. Yes, it is true that for most when the signs of pancreatic cancer appear they will probably die in less than a year. However, there are around 4 to 5 percent of people that even with the signs of pancreatic cancer are able to not only beat the illness, but also live at least 5 years without reoccurrence. You cannot tell on your own whether or not you will be part of this 4 or 5 percent. Yet, if you do nothing out of the thought that not knowing is better than knowing, you are losing any chance that you had for survival. Don’t do this to yourself. Go to the doctor. Even if you are one of the worst case scenarios, at least you can get treatment that will help you cope better with your illness.
Speaking of treatment what is done when a person does have signs of pancreatic cancer? Well, if the cancer is localized, surgery can be used to get rid of it. Otherwise, doctors use chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to try and kill the cancer cells. In fact, they use these treatment options even if they feel the situation is very grim. This is because they help alleviate the symptoms associated with the disease along with helping the person live a few months longer. True, a few months is not what one wants, especially since the average life expectancy is 80. But it can be better than a few weeks.