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Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive type of cancer and one of the most fatal types. Below are some frequently asked questions about pancreatic cancer.
Some of the early warning signs for pancreatic cancer include:
There’s no one cause for pancreatic cancer. Instead, a number of risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of getting pancreatic cancer. These risk factors include things such as heavy alcohol use, obesity and exposure to harmful cancer-causing chemicals.
While there’s no way to prevent pancreatic cancer, there are actions you can take now to lower your overall risk. Some of these actions include:
Pancreatic cancer is so deadly largely because it can go undetected for a long period of time. Because of the pancreas’s central position in the body, pancreatic cancer can more easily spread to other vital organs. The chances of recurrence are also more likely, even if the initial cancer is successfully removed.
Pancreatic cancer can go years without being detected. This is because the signs and symptoms don’t often show up until cancer has spread to other parts of the body, making treatment options and therapies more limited.
There are four main stages of pancreatic cancer. As a rule of thumb, the lower the stage number, the less your cancer has spread. What stage your cancer is in can be determined by its size and whether it’s spread to your nearby lymph nodes or distant organs in the body.
If allowed to progress untreated, pancreatic cancer can spread to tissues located close by and even beyond. It’s common for it to migrate to the nearby lymph nodes but can even reach other organs, such as the liver, gallbladder and lungs.
There isn’t one treatment for pancreatic cancer that’s considered better than all the others. The treatment that’s best for your condition is largely determined by what type of pancreatic cancer you have and what stage your cancer is in at the time of your diagnosis and treatment.
Mercy offers comprehensive cancer care with access to cutting-edge diagnostic technologies.
Find a Mercy cancer care clinic near you.