Diagnosing pancreatic cancer early is key

Diagnosing pancreatic cancer early is key

November is pancreatic cancer awareness month. We want to make sure that you are fully aware of any signs and symptoms to be aware of in order to diagnose this disease as early as possible.

What is your Pancreas?

Your pancreas is about 6 inches long and looks something like a pear lying on its side. It releases hormones, including insulin, to help your body process sugar in the foods you eat. And it produces digestive juices to help your body digest food and absorb nutrients.

What Is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and produces hormones that help manage your blood sugar.

Pancreatic cancer is seldom detected at its early stages when it’s most curable. This is because it often doesn’t cause symptoms until after it has spread to other organs.

What symptoms should you be aware of?

  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back
  • Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss
  • Yellowing of skin or the whites of your eyes
  • Light-colored stools
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Itchy skin
  • New diagnosis of diabetes
  • Blood clots
  • Fatigue

When should you see a doctor?

Always see your doctor anytime you have unexplained symptoms that worry you or any time you have a condition that could cause these symptoms.

Northeastern Oklahoma Cancer Institute wants you to know that we are always here for you!