Pancreatic cancer is considered to be one of the most severe types of cancer. There is a wide expanse of symptoms, physical reactions, systems involved and locations within the pancreas. For this reason, researchers are still quite puzzled by this type of cancer.
Nearly one-fifth of all cancer related deaths stem from an original diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Most of the affected patients are men, however some women will also be affected. The prognosis of a patient with pancreatic cancer is not very positive, because treatments are generally unsuccessful at preventing the spread of cancer throughout the body.
Pancreatic cancer may affect the digestive system of the body, but because the pancreas creates enzymes and hormones, often the effects are more prevalent on the endocrine system of the body.
It really all depends on where the malignancy is located within the organ. Most of the occurrences appear on the head of the pancreas. A small number of diagnoses have found that the tail of the pancreas is affected however.
Jaundice is one of the leading symptoms through which pancreatic cancer is discovered, as nearly half of all patients will experience jaundice as an early warning sign. Most of the patients diagnosed are well over 40 years old. Many actually range in age between 70 and 80. Again, mostly men are affected.
Abdominal pain, loss of appetite, low blood sugar and flu-like symptoms will also occur commonly in patients with Pancreatic Cancer. Any unexplained appearance of these symptoms, particularly if they do not go away warrants a complete physical examination as well as a range of tests used to determine the cause of these symptoms.
Early warning signs are not as prevalent as with other types of cancer, because Pancreatic Cancer develops very slowly in most cases. Generally, when a patient has been diagnosed, the cancer has had years to spread and develop within the body.
The earlier the discovery, the better the chances are of overcoming the disease. However, once it has been present for an extended period of time, there is a serious likelihood that the bone marrow, blood system and lungs will become affected. Knowing the symptoms, and paying attention to any symptoms will enable a patient to get a leg up on this cancer, that is a leading cause of cancer deaths across the globe.