Blog
Nov 25
Blog: Pancreatic Cancer

With the loss of high-profile individuals like Representative John Lewis, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, pancreatic cancer has been in the news a lot this year. Unlike other types of cancer, this particular disease spreads silently, often presenting few—if any—detectible symptoms, which makes it one of the most deadly types of cancer. Before the end of the year, some 57,000 people will be diagnosed—and more than 78% are expected to die from it.

Those numbers are startling, to be sure, but as with all types of cancer, education is key. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, so we’ve answered a few questions that will hopefully make the statistics a little less worrisome. 

Where in my body is the pancreas?
The pancreas is a small gland that rests comfortably between your stomach and your spine. It secretes insulin and glucagon, two main hormones essential to regulating blood sugar, and also produces enzymes to break down the food you eat so everything is digested properly.

It’s easy to see how improper functioning of the digestive system and disruption in hormone production has implications on all parts of the body. That’s why the disease is so difficult to cure: Once these problems are detectible, they are often far too advanced to every resolve completely.

What are some of the potential symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
According to Johns Hopkins, pancreatic cancer symptoms are relatively wide-ranging, and because they may also be indicators of other common conditions, it is important to address concerns when you have them. Some of the most common indicators include:

  • Dull pain in the upper abdomen and/or middle or upper back.
  • Symptoms of jaundice, such as yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, or itchy skin.
  • Unintentional and unexplained weight loss.
  • Gastrointestinal problems like loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or bloating.
  • Extreme tiredness.
  • Sudden onset of diabetes without an obvious cause (i.e. weight gain). 


Are there certain things that will reduce my risk?
There is much we still don’t know about the specific causes of pancreatic cancer, but certain things like age and family history undoubtedly play a role. That said, you can actively reduce your risk by eating a balanced, nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight. If you smoke cigarettes, talk to your primary care provider about strategies to quit once and for all.  

Where can I go if I’d like some more information?
Your primary care physician is best equipped to answer questions specific to your history, and can provide a referral if they feel further consult is necessary. If you are looking for a primary care provider, call our Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Patient Concierge at 518-886-5900. 
 


Related Posts

May 03, 2019

In "Health News"

May 27, 2019

In "Health News"

May 27, 2019

In "Health News"

May 27, 2019

In "Health News"

June 17, 2019

In "Health News"

May 28, 2019

In "Health News"

May 28, 2019

In "Health News"

May 28, 2019

In "Health News"

August 20, 2019

In "Health News"

September 11, 2019

In "Health News"

September 24, 2019

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

October 01, 2019

In "Health News"

October 25, 2019

In "Health News"

October 28, 2019

In "Health News"

December 12, 2019

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

November 06, 2019

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

November 21, 2019

In "Health News"

December 06, 2019

In "Health News"

January 03, 2020

In "Health News"

January 10, 2020

In "Health News"

January 28, 2020

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

February 11, 2020

In "Health News"

February 14, 2020

In "Health News"

February 14, 2020

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

February 27, 2020

In "Health News"

March 03, 2020

In "Health News"

March 04, 2020

In "Health News"

March 08, 2020

In "Health News"

March 18, 2020

In "Health News"

March 30, 2020

In "Health News"

April 08, 2020

In "Health News"

April 10, 2020

In "Health News"

April 15, 2020

In "Health News"

April 23, 2020

In "Health News"

May 04, 2020

In "Health News"

May 12, 2020

In "Health News"

October 01, 2020

In "Health News"

May 14, 2020

In "Health News"

May 18, 2020

In "Health News"

May 24, 2020

In "Health News"

October 01, 2020

In "Health News"

May 27, 2020

In "Health News"

June 11, 2020

In "Health News"

June 20, 2020

In "Health News"

June 29, 2020

In "Health News"

June 30, 2020

In "Health News"

July 06, 2020

In "Health News"

July 13, 2020

In "Health News"

July 23, 2020

In "Health News"

July 27, 2020

In "Health News"

July 31, 2020

In "Health News"

August 04, 2020

In "Health News"

August 27, 2020

In "Health News"

August 06, 2020

In "Health News"

August 13, 2020

In "Health News"

August 11, 2020

In "Health News"

August 18, 2020

In "Health News"

August 20, 2020

In "Health News"

August 27, 2020

In "Health News"

September 03, 2020

In "Health News"

September 11, 2020

In "Health News"

September 08, 2020

In "Health News"

August 25, 2020

In "Health News"

September 15, 2020

In "Health News"

September 17, 2020

In "Health News"

September 24, 2020

In "Health News"

September 22, 2020

In "Health News"

October 13, 2020

In "Health News"

October 02, 2020

In "Health News"

October 13, 2020

In "Health News"

October 02, 2020

In "Health News"

October 15, 2020

In "Health News"

October 20, 2020

In "Health News"

October 02, 2020

In "Health News"

October 13, 2020

In "Health News"

November 03, 2020

In "Health News"

October 27, 2020

In "Health News"

November 01, 2020

In "Health News"

December 03, 2020

In "Health News"

November 05, 2020

In "Health News"

November 13, 2020

In "Health News"

November 13, 2020

In "Health News"

November 17, 2020

In "Health News"

November 20, 2020

In "Health News"

November 25, 2020

In "Health News"

November 30, 2020

In "Health News"

December 02, 2020

In "Health News"

December 08, 2020

In "Health News"

December 10, 2020

In "Health News"

December 22, 2020

In "Health News"

December 29, 2020

In "Health News"

December 31, 2020

In "Health News"

January 05, 2021

In "Health News"

January 26, 2021

In "Health News"

January 14, 2021

In "Health News"

January 07, 2021

In "Health News"

December 30, 2020

In "Health News"

January 19, 2021

In "Health News"

January 07, 2021

In "Health News"

January 12, 2021

In "Health News"

January 21, 2021

In "Health News"