What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?
That you have pancreatic cancer is never a fun thing to hear and since no one knows for certain what causes pancreatic cancer, it can be frustrating if you think that you have it or even if you’re wondering what your risks are. Learning about this type of cancer is often the best thing to do because once you know what the symptoms are, you have a better chance of having it caught early enough to do something about it.
Where’s the pancreas?
The pancreas lies behind the lower part of your stomach and is responsible for two main functions: producing hormones to help manage your blood sugar and releasing enzymes that aid in the digestive process. No one knows for sure what causes pancreatic cancer but oncologists do know that certain factors increase your risks of getting this type of cancer. These factors include:
Being overweight or obese
Having diabetes, Smoking, Reaching an older age (most people are diagnosed after the age of 65)
Having a family history of the disease/genetics
Suffering from chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the liver)
Some of the symptoms of each stage of this cancer, including pancreatic cancer Stage 4,
include the following:
- Pain the abdomen that radiates to your back
- Light-colored stools or dark urine
- Blood clots
- Loss of appetite or losing weight when you’re not dieting
- Itchy skin
- Trouble controlling your diabetes
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the inside of your eyes)
The worst news regarding pancreatic cancer is that it is very difficult to diagnose early because most people show no symptoms until cancer has spread to other organs. Because it is so difficult to catch in its early stages, the prognosis for pancreatic cancer is usually not very good.
What Can You Do to Lower Your Risks?
Lowering your risks of pancreatic cancer involves many simple-to-follow suggestions that most people find easy to adhere to. If you stop smoking and lose weight, your risks of pancreatic cancer can go down; switching to a healthy diet by adding more fruits and veggies can decrease your risks of getting this scary disease as well.
And if you’re wondering when you should see a doctor to get checked out for pancreatic cancer, the smart thing to do is to schedule an appointment whenever you experience one of the symptoms listed above or, for that matter, any time you experience a symptom that is new to you, especially if it strays from your normal way of feeling or is causing you any type of pain or discomfort.