Pancreatic Cancer – Causes & Symptoms
Pancreatic cancer has a genetic predisposition. It is disease caused due to damage to the DNA, and occurs as a result of inheritance a faulty set of genes. The cell usually possesses two damaged copies of the gene, one which is inherited and the other one which has been acquired during life. That is reason why those cells in the pancreas multiply abnormally and lead to cancer.
Apart from the inherited genes, there are other multiple ways in which we can damage the DNA.
It is one of the primary risk factors for pancreatic cancer. There are multiple carcinogens in the cigarette smoke that can damage our DNA. And if any of these trigger a key cancer associated gene, it may lead to pancreatic cancer.
The chances of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. People in the age group of 60-80 years are more likely to have this cancer.
It is highly common in men than women.
Patients with prior history of diabetes mellitus, obesity and chronic pancreatitis are at a higher risk of getting cancer.
Fatty foods, processed foods, may lead to pancreatic cancer. Increasing the content of fruits and vegetables may help in cutting down the risk.
Early stages of pancreatic cancer do not show any signs or symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose it early on. As the cancer grows, symptoms start appearing, which usually depend on the type of pancreatic cancer and its location. However there are few common symptoms, start to appear in the beginning. This is to ensure that measures can be taken in the initial stages. These include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Marked difference in your bowel habits: You might need to check for pale smelly stools, frequent constipation and or diarrhea. You may also notice blood in stools.
- Unexplained weight loss and indigestion and burning sensation in the food pipe, leading to heartburn, bloating and sickness.
- Jaundice: you may note a change in the color of your eyes and skin to pale yellow. You might also have itching, which happens due to increase in bile salts.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Recent diagnosis of diabetes.
- Abdominal pain: This is an initial marker that should be considered a red flag. Patients usually complain of pain that begins in the stomach area and moves towards the back.
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This write-up was contributed by Credihealth content team:
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