Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms and Early Signs

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The pancreatic cancer is a result of the formation of abnormal cancer cells in the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreatic cancer is supposed to be the 4th largest occurring cancer type.

The pancreas is located near a person's stomach and measures about 2 inches wide and 6 inches long. Its structure is supposed to be like that of a fish. There are different glands in the pancreas. 'Endocrine and Exocrine glands' are the two types of glands in the pancreas. However there are fewer endocrine cells in the pancreas. 'Islet' is the term named for the cluster of endocrine glands. They help in producing insulin, which is useful for balancing the sugar content in blood. The exocrine glands are present in a larger number as compared to the endocrine glands. They make the pancreatic juices. The juice contains enzymes which break the fats and proteins which are then used by the human body.

The pancreatic cancer is divided into two types. They are:

  • Adenocarcinoma- The adenocarcinoma gets formed in the exocrine, which is a component in the pancreas of a person
  • Neuroendocrine tumor- The neuroendocrine tumor gets formed in the cells known as the 'islet cells'

The pancreatic cancer shows up some signs which are termed as the 'pancreatic cancer symptoms'. The symptoms are nothing but the early signs of pancreatic cancer. If the cancer cells are getting formed in a person's pancreas or have already formed, then some unusual signs are seen which indicate its presence. They are called the 'pancreatic cancer symptoms and early signs'.

Pancreatic cancer symptoms and early signs:

There are many symptoms and the early signs which show that there can be abnormal cells in the pancreas which could be cancerous. The pancreatic cancer symptoms and early signs are many in number. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Jaundice- The condition where the person's skin and eyes appear to be yellow is called as jaundice. The jaundice is not painful for the human body. But many a times it results in weakness of the patient. The jaundice is supposed to be the most common type of symptom in the pancreatic cancer.
  • Changing of the urine color and stool- As an early sign of the pancreatic cancer, the urine appears to be much more dark than usual. The stool of a person resembles to be in a pale color. They can also have an odd and unusual smell.
  • Diabetes- It is observed that sudden diabetes can be an early sign of the pancreatic cancer. Most of the times, diabetes is not a pancreatic cancer symptom.
  • Itchy skin- The itching in the skin is a rare type of symptom that is seen among people having pancreatic cancer. If the itching of the skin is coupled with some other symptoms or early signs of the pancreatic cancer, then it can be harmful.
  • Vomiting/ Nausea- Usual vomiting or a feeling of nausea is a common type of pancreatic cancer symptom among many people. Many times people avoid the treatment for these symptoms as they find them usual or common. This can increase the risk of developing the cancer to further stages.
  • Pain in the abdomen- One of the most common type of symptom is pain in the abdomen. The pain usually occurs in the upper abdomen of a person. It can also get worse after a period of time.
  • Unintentional Weight loss- Most of the time it is seen that people gain or lose weight which they don't mind. But this can be something really very wrong in their body. This can be said as the first symptom or early sign of the pancreatic cancer. Losing weight is a common type of symptom in many types of cancer.

The pancreatic cancer symptoms and early signs help the patient to understand that it is necessary for him to approach his health care provider for assistance as there are high possibilities of the formation of cancer cells in his body. By consulting the doctor, the patient can then get an estimate about which stage the cancer has advanced to.

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