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Pancreatic Cancer- Causes & Symptoms

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Garima 92% (462ratings)
Pancreatic Cancer- Causes & Symptoms

Cancer is a dreadful disease that claims millions of lives worldwide. Some forms of cancer are more serious and fatal than others. One such cancer is pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer, as the name suggests, originates within the tissues of the pancreas- an organ present just behind the lower part of your stomach.

Due to its location, pancreatic cancer often goes undetected or is diagnosed at a later stage. This makes the treatment more difficult and lowers the chances of survival. However, if you pay heed to the initial signs of the disease, you may be able to counter pancreatic cancer with effective treatment.

Early Signs of Pancreatic Cancer

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Pain in the abdomen and/or lower back

  • Nausea and fatigue

  • Jaundice-like symptoms, such as yellowish skin colour and pale eyes

  • Dark urine

  • Blood clots

What Causes Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer develops when the cells in the pancreas begin multiplying abnormally, leading to the formation of tumours. However, what leads to this abnormal cell growth is not known yet. Scientists believe that certain risk factors cause mutation in the DNA cells of the pancreas, which increases your chances of getting the disease. These mutations prompt the cells to grow uncontrollably and outlive healthy cells.

The factors that make you prone to this form of cancer are-

  • Tobacco use- Smoking accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths. The likelihood of getting pancreatic cancer is twice as high for smokers as compared to non-smokers.

  • Genes- A family history of cancer-related genetic syndromes, such as BRCA2 gene mutation, FAMMM syndrome, and Lynch syndrome.

  • Underlying health conditions- Obesity, diabetes, and chronic pancreatitis are among the common risk factors of pancreatic cancer.

You certainly do not have control over your genes, but you can definitely prevent the onset of pancreatic cancer by ruling out the other risk factors with a healthier lifestyle. Most importantly, look out for the above symptoms and visit a cancer specialist at the earliest. Pancreatic cancer is treatable if detected early.

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