Pancreatic cancer has no symptom in its early stages. The tumor remains the same no matter where it is placed in the pancreas. Symptoms vary, and because of this, the outcomes vary too. As pancreatic cancer progresses, the patient may experience loss of weight and pain in the abdomen after eating. When there’s suspicion, a CAT scan is used to determine the stage and progression of the tumor and whether it is removable or not. Although pancreatic cancer is aggressive and diagnosed late, surgeons focus on offering patients a possible cure and hope. Here’s what pancreatic cancer is about:
Pancreatic cancer symptoms are vague and may include digestive issues, abdominal pain or unexplained weight loss. What mostly triggers a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is jaundice. Research indicates that 30% of cases of pancreatic cancer are linked to smoking while 10% are hereditary. There’s also a high risk of 50-90% among African Americans. Other risk factors include chronic and hereditary pancreatitis, diabetes, diet and physical activity and obesity. Standard treatment for pancreatic cancer includes chemotherapy and/or radiation. Some patients may undergo surgery called the Whipple procedure. Biological therapies and/or alternative therapies and complementary therapies are other treatment methods. Clinical trials are also available. The placement of the tumor in the pancreas will determine how the surgery will be done. If it is on the right of the pancreas, it is complicated because some parts of the pancreas, the intestine, the stomach, bile duct, and gallbladder have to be removed. However, with the left side, only the portion of the pancreas and the spleen are removed. About The Sandler-Kenner Foundation The Sandler-Kenner Foundation – a Non-profit organization, established in 2007 as the Las Colinas Pancreatic Cancer Center Foundation, was renamed in early 2011 in the memory of Michael Sandler and Peter Kenner, both of whom passed away from pancreatic cancer, a lethal disease that is difficult to diagnose until it has reached an advanced stage. The Sandler-Kenner Foundation’s primary focus is to improve survivability of pancreatic cancer patients by developing early identification tools that are highly sensitive, cost effective and easily implemented by medical practitioners.