Understanding the symptoms of cancer which accounts for the third highest number of deaths
THE Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, along with cancer centers and other organizations across the country, recognize November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. As its name suggests, pancreatic cancer begins in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas aids digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
About pancreatic cancer
Exocrine cells make up the majority of the pancreas. When these cells grow out of control, pancreatic adenocarcinoma occurs. Pancreatic adenocarcinomas represent approximately 95% of pancreatic cancers.
Pancreatic Cancer facts and figures
- Around 64,050 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2023.
- Around 50,550 people will die from pancreatic cancer in 2023.
- Pancreatic cancer accounts for approximately 3% of all cancers in the United States and approximately 7% of all cancer deaths.
- The average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 64.
- Pancreatic cancer is slightly more common in men than in women.
All data reported by the American Cancer Society.
Pancreatic Cancer symptoms and risk factors
In the early stages, pancreatic cancer usually has no symptoms. When symptoms appear, they may include jaundice, abdominal or back pain, weight loss, nausea, blood clots, or an enlarged gallbladder or liver. Although rare, pancreatic cancer can destroy insulin-producing cells, causing diabetes. Some symptoms that may suggest the onset of diabetes or changes in blood sugar levels are feeling thirsty and hungry, or the need to urinate often. You should consult your doctor if you experience one or more of these symptoms.
Other lifestyle factors that increase the risk of pancreatic cancer include being overweight, diabetes, exposure to certain chemicals, and chronic pancreatitis. Some risk factors for pancreatic cancer cannot be controlled. Besides age and gender, uncontrollable risk factors also include race, family history, and genetic syndromes inherited from a parent.
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment at Karmanos Cancer Institute
At Karmanos, pancreatic cancer is treated by the gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine oncology team, which includes surgeons, physicians and radiation oncologists; interventional radiologists; pathologists; specialist nurse practitioners; dietitians; social workers and genetic counselors. The team is entirely dedicated to treating gastrointestinal cancers and shares their collective expertise to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient.
“Our team is working closely with our researchers to truly understand this disease and find better ways to treat cancer. We offer numerous clinical trials in order to be able to offer our patients standard treatments and promising new therapies. We are able to offer a wide range of treatment options available for pancreatic cancer,” added Dr. Shields.
Each patient receives a carefully crafted treatment plan, designed to achieve the best possible outcome.
To learn more about pancreatic cancer, click here or call 1-800-KARMANOS.