November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed globally to raise awareness of one of the commonly overlooked cancers with the lowest survival rates. More than 150 people are diagnosed with it every day and it is the ninth most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and tenth most in men. It is not the most obvious cancer to some people as the pancreas is deep within the abdomen and cannot be easily felt during a routine exam. Only an imaging study such as a CT, MRI or EUS scan can be used to see a pancreatic tumor.
Recognizing symptoms can lead to early detection and better outcomes for patients. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network wants people to look at a few of the risk factor that have been identified by research.
- Family history
- Diet that is high in red and processed meat
- Long-standing diabetes
- Chronic pancreatitis
Pancreatic cancer causes vague symptoms that many may attribute to various ailments. If you are experiencing a few of these symptoms simultaneously, you should let your doctor know.
- Abdominal or mid-back pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Recent onset diabetes
These facts were taken from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network page and should not be used to diagnose the disease on your own. This is meant to raise awareness of the issue and all concerns should be brought to your physician’s attention.
For more information, visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website.