I don’t know about you but cancer has hit my family and friends multiple times over. I’ve lost family members to the disease yet also had family members survive and go into remission. Steve has had family suffering from the disease and we have also had friends suffer – some who sadly did not survive and some who are currently in remission. We’ve even ran to raise money for cancer charities in the past.
It is a dreadful disease and whilst everyone is aware of cancer, how many of us can say we know exactly what type of cancers there are out there? We all know breast, prostate etc but there are some rare ones out there too. One that isn’t rare but is still not as talked about is pancreatic cancer but from what I’ve read recently, the numbers of people being diagnosed with it is growing increasingly.
Pancreatic cancer can can affect the oesophagus, stomach and the duodenum (small intestine), pancreas, liver and the biliary. The patient’s treatment is dependent on the type cancer and how advance the cancer is including the age of the patient and their general health.
What I find truly devastating about this particular type of cancer is that it often doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms in the early stages which make it incredibly difficult to diagnose early – as it grows, it may start to cause symptoms. Symptoms can include: abdominal and back pain, indigestion, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, changes to bowel habits and feeling and being sick among others. However, these symptoms could also perhaps be caused by something else entirely, something more common and even if you actually have pancreatic cancer, you may not have all the above symptoms. Regardless, if you are having some of these symptoms, a trip to the GP should be in order – it is better to go and find out it is nothing than to not go and it be something.
With it being so hard to diagnose, the disease is still considered to be largely incurable – although survival rates do increase from decade to decade however it seems more and more people seem to be being diagnosed with it. Research found that for all stages of the cancer combined, 20% is the one year relative survival rate with 7% being the five year survival rate. Shocking, right?
Pancreatic cancer hasn’t ripped through my family or friends yet and I hope it never does – but I think it is so important to be aware of the signs. I’ve found out a lot more these past few weeks as I have looked into it, did you know much about it?
In collaboration with LOC