Pancreatic cancer is a fast spreading disease that begins in the organ that releases enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help you manage blood sugar. Seldom detected in the early stages, it can be caught in a timelier manner through screenings for those with a personal history of pancreatic cyst or family history of pancreatic cancer.
It’s not clear what causes pancreatic cancer, but what happens is that abnormal cells grow and mutate in the pancreas and form a tumor, usually in the ducts of the pancreas.
Risk factors for the disease include:
- Pancreatitis, a chronic inflammation of the pancreas
- Family history of pancreatic cancer or certain genetic syndromes known to increase cancer risks:
- Older age over 65
Studies show that smoking, a poor diet, and long-standing diabetes increase the risk of pancreatic cancer more than any of these factors alone.
SYMPTOMS OF PANCREATIC CANCER
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer often do not appear until it is too late to stop the progress of the disease. They include:
- Upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back
- Unintended weight loss or loss of appetite
- Blood clots
- Jaundice or yellowing of the whites of the eyes or the skin
WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU SUSPECT PANCREATIC CANCER
If you experience symptoms for pancreatic cancer, your doctor may recommend Imaging tests, endoscopic ultrasound, removing a tissue sample for testing, or a blood test to determine if you have this cancer.
Once you physician determines the extent or stage of your cancer, you might recommend surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas and nearby tumors. Chemotherapy and radiation are additional options. For cancers that are too advanced, palliative care is often recommended even as more aggressive treatments are underway.
SCHEDULE PANCREATIC CANCER SCREENING AT OASIS ADVANCED GASTROENTEROLOGY
Pancreatic cancer screenings can be invaluable in diagnosing to determine if you have cancer. Contact Oasis Advanced Gastroenterology in Palm Springs to schedule testing with Dr. Asgeri.
Request an appointment online or call 760-699-7607.