Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Despite the broad range of treatment options available and all the recent advances in medical technology, the five year survival rate for those diagnosed early is only 8% and this drops to 3% for those diagnosed at an advanced stage. This type of cancer is difficult to diagnose and is often overlooked, usually discovered when it’s advanced to a virtually incurable stage.
So what is pancreatic cancer? Like all cancers, it begins when normal cells mutate and stop their normal functioning. They begin to grow at an uncontrollable rate and start taking nutrients and oxygen from the body, acting independently of the rest of the body and avoiding the usual mechanisms the body uses to maintain health. As the number of cancerous cells increase, they form tumors that can eventually spread to other parts of the body. When pancreatic tumors advance to a large enough size, they begin to impact the function of other organs. This can result in digestive problems as the stomach begins to produce too much acid, as well as issues with the liver and bile production.
Due to the fact that pancreatic cancer is so difficult to diagnose, it makes sense to know the signs and symptoms to help with early detection if you or your loved ones are unfortunate enough to encounter this severe disease. Remember, the key to maintaining a healthy body is not only exercise and nutrition, but making sure you pay attention to what your body is telling you on a day-to-day basis. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult with a physician.