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Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

pancreatic cancer awareness

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Years ago, we never heard much about pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is often not diagnosed until it is too late for most people.

November is a month dedicated to raising awareness about this deadly disease. Some quick facts about pancreatic cancer include:

  • Estimates show that in 2020, 57,600 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the US.
  • Estimates also show that in 2020, more than 47,050 people die from the disease.
  • While death rates for many cancers are declining, the death rate for pancreatic cancer is rising.
  • Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the US.
  • The five-year survival rate for all stages of pancreatic cancer is 9%.

These grim statistics highlight the importance of education about the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. There seems to be a lot the public and medical professionals don’t know about this type of cancer.

Detecting Pancreatic Cancer Early Can Save Lives

Early detection of nearly all cancers can make or break the outcome. Unfortunately, some cancers are easier to detect and diagnose than others. Pancreatic cancer is one such type.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often attributed to “other” illnesses. Sometimes, when doctors finally arrive at the correct diagnosis, the symptoms are quite severe, it has spread to other organs, and it is too late to treat with success.

What are some of the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

  • Stomach pain
  • Pain in the middle of the back
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Jaundice
  • Changes in the color of stools
  • Indigestion
  • Newly diagnosed or uncontrollable diabetes

As you see, people might experience some of these signs and symptoms regularly and NOT have pancreatic cancer. However, you must speak to a doctor when these conditions occur or are concerned about one of them. If you understand the risks of pancreatic cancer, it might help.

What are the Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer?

Doctors don’t know precisely what causes pancreatic cancer. They have identified, however, some factors that might increase your risk of developing it. Risk factors include things that can mutate the DNA of your cells.

Risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis (chronic inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Family history of specific genetic mutations such as BRCA2 or FAMMM syndrome
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Obesity
  • Age

According to the Mayo Clinic, a large study concluded that the combination of smoking, a poor diet, and having long-standing diabetes increases the risk of pancreatic cancer far more than any of these factors alone.

Trying to prevent pancreatic cancer means doing what you can to eliminate or reduce the few risks you can control. Quitting or avoiding smoking, maintaining your weight, and eating a healthy diet might help lower the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Rock the Treatment Can Send a Gift Box to Someone with Pancreatic Cancer

At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has pancreatic cancer or any other type of cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.


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