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Number 1 sign of Pancreatic cancer: Experts

by Pragati Singh
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New Delhi: Pancreatic cancer is without a doubt one of the most dangerous types of cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a disease that grows slowly without presenting symptoms and is commonly identified in the latter stages of the disease, when prevention is difficult to perform — the disease has a startlingly low survival rate of only 6%. This type of cancer, often recognised as one of the most painful, occurs when cancer cells proliferate at an excessively high pace in or around the organ, clogging the tubes and ducts and preventing correct functioning.

As dangerous as it is, it is essential to be certain whether it is pancreatic cancer or not – and the best way to do so is to keep an eye out for the main signs and symptoms.

  1. Obesity: Obese teenagers and young adults are thought to be at a higher risk for pancreatic cancer. Chronic inflammation, excessive hormone release, and uncontrolled growth factors associated to obesity are all well-known risk factors for diabetes. Weight reduction surgery, often known as bariatric surgery, can assist diabetic people improve their blood sugar levels and reduce their risk of pancreatic cancer.
  2. Diabetes: Diabetes, a condition wherein the pancreas stops secreting insulin or releases too much of it into the blood stream to combat blood sugar levels, is strongly linked to pancreatic cancer risk. Many studies back that a small group of people with type-2 diabetes develop pancreatic cancer a year after diabetes diagnosis.
  3. Exposure to chemicals: Pancreatic cancer, according to several studies, is linked to exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and heavy metals like asbestos, nickel, chromium, benzene, pesticides according to Cancer Causes & Control.
  4. Chronic pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is when the lower part of the organ suffers inflammation and triggers a great deal of pain. This is often triggered by excessive smoking and alcohol intake and has a role to play in pancreatic cancer as well – majorly when the condition is chronic or hereditary.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by a single factor.
People who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to acquire pancreatic cancer as those who do not. This is according to various studies, health organisations, and academics. Smoking is the most modifiable factor related with illness risk, accounting for one out of every five instances.

Should you see the doctor for pancreatic cancer?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, some symptoms of pancreatic cancer could be major warning sign for you to reach out to a doctor as soon as possible. These include:
  1. Unexplained weight loss
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Chronic fatigue
  4. Pain radiating from the back to the upper abdomen
  5. Jaundice
  6. Light-coloured bowels
  7. Dark coloured pee
  8. Nausea
  9. Vomiting
  10. Itchy skin
  11. Blood clots
  12. Worsening diabetes

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