About Pancreatic Cancer
Learn more about Pancreatic Cancer
Overview of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose, mainly because there are no “definitive” symptoms, but also because standard tests often return negative results.
Patients often comment on experiencing a variety of symptoms prior to diagnoses, including unintended weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, back or belly pain, fatigue and jaundice.
According to the American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates:
- About 62,210 people (32,970 men and 29,240 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year.
- About 49,830 people (25,970 men and 23,860 women) will die of pancreatic cancer this year.
- Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the US and about 7% of all cancer deaths.
- The average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer for men and women is about 1 in 64.
Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., killing more people than breast cancer. It is predicted to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States around 2030, second only to lung cancer.
Pancreatic cancer may cause only vague unexplained symptoms. Symptoms that may indicate pancreatic cancer include:
- Pain (usually in the abdomen or back)
- Weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or eyes) with or without itching
- Loss of appetite
- Change in stool
- Recent-onset diabetes
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, we urge you to speak to your doctor immediately and reference pancreatic cancer.
You are your own best advocate. The Kosten Foundation strongly recommends that you discuss your treatment goals with your healthcare team and know all of your options at every stage of your disease.
Pancreatic cancer patients who participate in clinical research have better outcomes. Every treatment available today was approved through a clinical trial. The Kosten Foundation strongly recommends clinical trials at diagnosis and during every treatment decision. Please contact us for assistance in finding clinical trial opportunities in our area.
The most commonly performed surgery to remove tumors in the pancreas.
Is performed if a tumor is located within the body or tail portion of the pancreas.
When the tumor is situated in such a way that requires the entire pancreas to be removed.
Serous cystadenomas are a type of cystic neoplasm of the pancreas. These lesions are more frequent in those greater than age 70 and are more common in women. They are commonly quite large at the time of diagnosis measuring on average 5-8cm. Even though they are large they almost never cause jaundice and uncommonly will block the pancreatic duct. Thus, they are usually asymptomatic and are most usually found on diagnostic imaging performed for other reasons.
When they do cause symptoms it is usually due to compression of surrounding organs such as the stomach which may cause partial obstruction of the intestines. These lesions are benign and can usually be differentiated from other more serious cystic neoplasms by modern diagnostic techniques. In the absence of symptoms, they may be safely observed without surgery.