Pancreatic cancer is considered as a silent killer. The patient hardly knows that he is suffering from cancer. It is difficult to detect the presence of this deadly killer. The initial symptoms such as loss of appetite and weight loss without any intention are not symptoms that can point out the pancreatic cancer as the culprit.
The patient and the doctor both are groping in the dark to locate the cause behind such simple and common symptoms that the cancer would have spread to other nearby areas in the meantime and making it all the more difficult to bring it under control by the time the real cause is identified.
The patient would have reached stage III by the time he experiences abdominal pain. The pain in the upper part of the abdomen which radiates to the back and the patient feels relief only by leaning forward. This is a symptom that is distinguishable and the one that can be linked to pancreatic cancer. This is due to the growing tumor which is obstructing other organs nearby and this causes pain.
When the tumor grows further it can block the liver’s bile duct and this can give rise to jaundice. Now the symptoms of jaundice such as yellow color of the skin and eyes will become visible. Dark colored urine and pale stool is the other indication for the presence of jaundice. One may have to undergo surgery for placement of a tube to shift the bile duct. Otherwise a bypass surgery may be needed to provide another path between the liver and the intestine for the bile to flow.
By the time liver gets affected leading to jaundice, the cancer would have spread to too many areas and it becomes uncontrollable. Life expectancy from this stage onwards is 3 to 6 months.
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