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Pancreatic cancer is the presence of cancerous cells or tumors in the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen, directly behind the stomach that aids in digestion and the breaking down of sugars found in food. There is no known cause for pancreatic cancer and unfortunately, the prognosis for treatment is unfavorable, making it the leading cause of cancer death.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms include bloating, pain in the upper abdomen that can spread to the lower back, jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, weight loss, loss of appetite, blood clots and depression. Many of these symptoms are indicators of other diseases and conditions, but if you experience any of these, you should see a physician. It is even more imperative to consult with a physician if more than one of these symptoms exist, because symptoms of pancreatic cancer often do not occur until the disease is in its advanced stages.
There are no hard and fast steps to prevent pancreatic cancer; however, there are things you can do lower your risks. If you are a smoker, quit. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Also a well balanced, healthy diet can decrease your chances of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|