Pancreatic cancer is the seventh leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women; accounts for 7% deaths worldwide.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Located behind the stomach, the pancreas is responsible for smooth digestion with the release of enzymes as well as hormones for maintaining the blood sugar levels in the body.
Even if you’ve pancreatic cancer, you won’t be able to feel the lump inside or when you touch the abdomen from outside.
Unlike breast or colon cancer, pancreatic tumors are hard to detect with screening tests also. Thus, why this cancer type is known as “Silent-Killer.” It is next to impossible to diagnose this disease at an initial stage when it’s most treatable.
Besides the symptoms, you must understand the risk associated with pancreatic cancer, and these are as follows:-
- You have a family history of cancer.
- You smoke
- You’re obese
- You are exposed to chemicals & pesticides.
If you fall under any of the aforementioned risk categories, then it’s best if you undergo the pancreatic cancer diagnostic test.
The highly-sensitive CA 125 Test kit is most recommended for the early screening of pancreatic cancer.
How Do I Know if I Have Pancreatic Cancer?
Although there are no symptoms during the early stage, there are certain signs that incrementally become severe as the size of the tumor in the pancreas increases.
So, let’s find out these signs:-
#1. You’re Losing Weight
Tumor in the pancreases causes gradual loss of appetite, which over a period leads to weight loss.
Certain types of pancreatic tumors produce hormones that make it a lot difficult to garner nutrients from the food you eat.
#2. There Is Redness, Swelling, and Slight Pain in Your Legs
All these are common signs of a blood clot in the deep vein of the leg, and this is known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
A clot in the leg is the first sign in the majority of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. If overlooked, over a period, the clot will break off and travel to the lungs, causing shortness of breath — in a rare case scenario.
So, even if you haven’t made any change to your diet lately, and still losing some pounds every week or turning malnourished, then it’s a red flag that you need to consult a gastroenterologist for advice.
#3. You’re Experiencing Pain
Some people experience pain, as the tumor spreads to overlap with the nerves and other organs. The blockage in the digestive tract can be quite painful, especially in the back regions or the abdomen.
#4. Your Digestive System Isn’t Functioning Properly
Indigestion is a common symptom in people with pancreatic cancer. The tumor in the pancreas affects the body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients from it.
#5. You’re Bloated
As pancreatic cancer leads to digestive problems, you may experience bloating and gas. Lump blockage in the pancreas can also cause ascites. It is the buildup of excess fluids in the abdomen. Plus, the belly appears somewhat swelled or stretched out,
#6. Your Skin & Eyes Appeal Yellow
Usually, the skin and eyes of people with jaundice become yellowish because of the buildup of bilirubin, which is a component of bile.
Similarly, the lump in the pancreases causes blockage causing the congestion of bile, and prevents it from flowing to the gallbladder via the small intestine.
You may also experience symptoms such as dark urine, itchy skin, or clay-colored stools.
What’s The Takeaway?
If you are experiencing any or a combination of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’ve got a lump in your pancreas; still, there is a slight possibility.
So, you must not turn a blind eye to these, first consult your general physician and then reach out to a gastroenterologist and seek their advice on whether or not you should undergo the cancer diagnosis.
In case you don’t have the time to visit a medical lab to give your sample, you can book online affordable lab testing. The sample will be collected from your place as per your convenience, and the test report will be delivered to your Inbox.