C Nutrition And Weight Loss
Weight loss and muscle wasting are common and occur in over 90% of patients with pancreatic cancer. These phenomena, apart from physiological disadvantage which contribute to fatigue and weakness, often have a pronounced deleterious effect on such factors as a patients sense of well-being. Contributors include anorexia, nausea, other gastrointestinal symptoms, depression, the side-effects of chemotherapy, surgery, new dietary constraints, early satiety , medical procedures and perhaps most importantly the metabolic effects of the pancreatic cancer itself. Some patients are unable to tolerate a diet which is high in fat and protein, and in others the onset of diabetes may occur.
The use of appetite stimulants such as megestrol and corticosteroids , as well as cannabinoids may be helpful in select patients.
Strengths And Limitations Of This Study
- As is appropriate for this qualitative approach, we aimed for maximum variation and not numerical representation we included people with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, not just those who had particular concerns about their prediagnostic symptom experiences or diagnostic delay.
- The finding on intermittent symptoms emerged during analysiswe did not ask specifically whether symptoms occurred intermittently.
- Our study is based on people’s recall of events, which is considered a bias in some research traditions, yet these accounts also emanate from those who, having been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, are likely to have thought long and hard about how and when their cancer started. Using qualitative, interpretive methods allows us to analyse and learn from these recollections.
Youre Losing Weight And You Dont Know Why
Weight loss can be caused by incomplete digestion due to the cancer or by the cancer itself. Cancer-induced weight loss is a problem that affects the way the body uses calories and protein. It can cause the body to burn more calories than usual, break down muscle and decrease appetite.
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What Are The Other Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer may also be found in other conditions of the digestive system. These include
- Yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes
Unusual signs include
- Fatigue: fatigue is a common symptom found in other types of cancer as well.
- The new and unusual onset of diabetes: Pancreatic cancers may destroy the insulin-producing cells. This can increase your blood sugar levels and lead to newly diagnosed diabetes. If you already suffer from diabetes which is under control, you may suddenly develop an uncontrolled form of diabetes.
Symptoms Of Pancreatitis: Pain And Other Complications
The pain of pancreatitis occurs in a specific way and is a key symptom of the condition.
The pain of pancreatitis occurs in a specific way and is a key symptom of the condition.
Pancreatitis is associated with pain and a handful of other symptoms, some of which can be severe. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic.
Gallstones and alcohol are the two main causes of acute pancreatitis. With chronic pancreatitis, it’s been estimated that up to 55 percent of cases in the United States are due to heavy drinking or alcoholism.
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Coping With Pancreatic Cancer
Many people feel worried, depressed, and stressed when dealing with cancer. Getting treatment for cancer can be hard on the mind and body. Keep talking with your healthcare team about any problems or concerns you may have. Work together to ease the effect of cancer and its symptoms on your daily life.
Here are some tips:
- Talk with your family or friends.
- Ask your healthcare team or social worker for help.
- Speak with a counselor.
- Talk with a spiritual advisor, such as a minister or rabbi.
- Ask your healthcare team about medicines for depression or anxiety.
- Keep socially active.
- Join a cancer support group.
Cancer treatment is also hard on the body. To help yourself stay healthier, try to:
- Eat a healthy diet, with a focus on high-protein foods.
- Drink plenty of water, fruit juices, and other liquids.
- Keep physically active.
- Rest as much as needed.
- Talk with your healthcare team about ways to manage treatment side effects.
- Take your medicines as directed by your team.
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- the whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow
- you’re being sick for more than 2 days
- you have diarrhoea for more than 7 days
- you have symptoms that you are worried about, but are not sure where to get help
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
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What Part Of Your Back Hurts With Pancreatitis
The pain usually develops in the middle or left side of your tummy and can move along your back. It’s been described as a burning or shooting pain that comes and goes, but may last for several hours or days. Although the pain sometimes comes on after eating a meal, there’s often no trigger…. read more
What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms
If you have jaundice, go to your GP or A& E straight away.
If you have any of the other symptoms, you dont know why you have them, and they last four weeks or more, go to your GP.
Give your GP a good description of your symptoms. Mention anything unusual, even if you are not sure if it is relevant. If your GP asks you to come back and see them at a later date, make sure you do. Read more about visiting your GP, and our tips for helping you talk to your GP.
If you have symptoms of pancreatic cancer, its really important that you contact your GP, despite the current situation with coronavirus. Dont worry about your GP or the NHS being too busy at the moment, or it being unsafe.
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Tummy Pain Or Back Pain
Tummy pain or back pain are common symptoms of pancreatic cancer. The pain may start as general discomfort or tenderness in the tummy area and spread to the back.
Some people have no pain at all, and pain can vary from person to person. For example, it may come and go at first but become more constant over time. It can be worse when lying down, and sitting forward can sometimes make it feel better. It may be worse after eating.
If you are over 60, have lost weight and have tummy or back pain, your GP should refer you for an urgent CT scan or ultrasound scan within two weeks.
Investigating Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Investigating pancreatic cancer can be a complex process. If you are concerned about your symptoms, it may be helpful for you and your GP to track your symptoms using our symptom diary.
When your GP examines you, they may look for jaundice , feel your tummy and send blood or urine samples to be analysed. If your symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss and jaundice together then you should be referred to the hospital as urgent. This does not mean that you certainly have pancreatic cancer, but your symptoms need to be investigated quickly.
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What Are Other Complications Associated With Pancreatitis
These are some of the other complications that may develop as a result of acute, severe, or chronic pancreatitis:
- Low blood pressure
- Breathing problems due to hormone changes that affect lung function
- Malnutrition due to the inefficient breakdown and absorption of food
- Pancreatic pseudocysts, or fluid and debris-filled sacs, which may cause bleeding and infection if they rupture
- Extra-pancreatic infections, including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and urinary tract infections
Since your body is using its fluids to help fight the injuries to your pancreas, you may become dehydrated. Vomiting and the inability to eat may also contribute to dehydration, and it may also lead to low blood pressure.
Symptoms Of Chronic Pancreatitis
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis often manifest themselves only when complications arise or the condition worsens.
The pain of chronic pancreatitis takes two forms. In the first kind, the pain may come and go, flaring up for several hours or several weeks, with no discomfort in between flare-ups. In the second, the pain is steady and debilitating.
In some cases, those with this form of pancreatic may feel pain in parts of the body other than the abdomen. There may sometimes be no pain at all.
Some of the defining symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include:
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Upper Or Middle Belly/back Pain
Abdominal pain is a common symptom of pancreatic cancer, as tumors that have grown fairly large start pressing on adjacent organs, causing discomfort and pain.
Its also common for these cancers to cause pain in the patients back, usually as a result of spreading to nerves surrounding the pancreas.
However, back and belly pain may also indicate other conditions besides pancreatic cancer, so its important to speak with your doctor if youre experiencing pain.
What Is Pancreatic Cancer
Cancer starts when cells change and grow out of control. The changed cells often grow to form a lump or mass called a tumor. Cancer cells can also grow into nearby areas. And they can spread to other parts of the body. This is called metastasis.
Pancreatic cancer is cancer that starts in cells that make up your pancreas. The pancreas is a pear-shaped organ that lies behind your stomach and in front of your spine. It makes digestive juices and hormones, such as insulin, that help your body use food for energy.
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Distinct Differences In Pancreatic Pain Depending On Pancreatic Disease Entity
Almost 50% of patients with pancreatic cancer did not have any pain , while only 15.1% of patients suffered from moderate to severe pain .1). Distinct differences in pancreatic pain are evident when especially comparing the pain pattern of patients with chronic pancreatitis to those with pancreatic cancer. Nearly half of all pancreatic cancer patients revealed no pain at all, whereas this figure was noticeably less in chronic pancreatitis patients with only 18.3% of the total chronic pancreatitis population .1). In other words, while almost 50% of pancreatic cancer patients were pain free, more than 80% of chronic pancreatitis patients had at least mild pain sensations. In detail, patients with pancreatic cancer showed generally less pain, with 154 cases of mild pain and 65 cases of moderate to severe pain in direct comparison to significantly greater mild pain and moderate to severe pain sensation 1) in chronic pancreatitis.
Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
In the early stages, a tumour in the pancreas doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, which can make it difficult to diagnose.
It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be caused by many different conditions, and aren’t usually the result of cancer. But you should contact your GP if you’re concerned, or if these symptoms start suddenly.
The first noticeable symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often:
- pain in the back or stomach area which may come and go at first and is often worse when you lie down or after you’ve eaten
- unexpected weight loss
- jaundice the most obvious sign is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes it also causes your urine to be dark yellow or orange and your stools to be pale-coloured
Other possible symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- nausea and vomiting
Read more about treating pancreatic cancer.
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What Are Treatment Side Effects
Cancer treatment such as chemo and radiation can damage normal cells. This can cause side effects such as hair loss, mouth sores, and vomiting.
Talk with your healthcare provider about side effects linked to your treatment. There are often ways to manage them. There may be things you can do and medicines you can take to help prevent or control many treatment side effects.
How Is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed
Doctors will check your eyes and look at your skin for signs of jaundice. They will take your complete medical history and family history to look for possible risk factors such as smoking.
Pancreatic cancer can cause the liver and gallbladder to swell. Your doctor will examine your abdomen to check if there is any such swelling, which may be felt.
If your doctor suspects some abnormality, they will order tests that include
CT scans can show the pancreas fairly clearly. Hence, they are often used as confirmatory tests to diagnose pancreatic cancer. A special type of CT known as a multiphase CT scan or a pancreatic protocol CT scan is especially used for this purpose. You will be administered an injection of an intravenous contrast.
A long needle may be inserted into your pancreas to take a small piece of your pancreas. During this procedure, CT is used to guide the needle into the pancreas. The sample of the pancreas is then sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope. This procedure is known as CT-guided biopsy.
US, particularly the abdominal US, is a simple test that does not use radiation. It is often the first test used to look at the organs for complaints such as abdominal pain. But the final diagnosis rests with a CT scan.
This imaging test looks for the blockage, narrowing or dilation in the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts.
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Less Common Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
Other people we talked to had more unusual symptoms. Michael said that after drinking wine he would wake in the night with indigestion and the shivers and that he would sweat for the next 12 hours. Maureen felt as though she had an alien just under her ribs. Davinder and Ben had other unusual symptoms.
Where Is The Pain Of Pancreatitis Felt
The pain of pancreatitis is felt in the upper left side of the abdomen, just under the ribs. Sometimes, it may be felt in the middle of the abdomen. The pain most often
- Radiates to your back or below the left shoulder blade
- Feels worse after eating, especially after having fatty foods
- Worsens on lying flat on the back
- Gets more severe and constant with time
Other signs and symptoms of pancreatitis include
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Treatment Of Pancreatic Cancer
Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on your age, general health, the size and location of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. You may receive one type of treatment or a combination.
Generally, options include:
- Surgery is used when the cancer has not spread beyond the pancreas. The cancer and part of the pancreas and part of the small bowel are removed in an operation called Whipples resection. Some of the bile ducts, gall bladder and stomach may also be removed. This is major surgery and you need to be fit enough to have it.
- Chemotherapy anti-cancer medications may be used after surgery. The drugs work by stopping cancer cells growing and reproducing. Chemotherapy may be given with surgery or alone to help control the symptoms of an advanced cancer.
- Radiotherapy the use of x-rays to target cancer cells may be used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that might remain in the body. Radiotherapy can also be used as the main treatment when surgery is not possible, in combination with chemotherapy.
- Complementary and alternative therapies its common for people with cancer to seek out complementary or alternative treatments. When used alongside your conventional cancer treatment, some of these therapies can make you feel better and improve quality of life. Others may not be so helpful and in some cases may be harmful. The Cancer Council Victoria booklet called Understanding Complementary Therapies can be a useful resource.
D Symptoms Secondary To Bile Duct Obstruction
Because the pancreatic tumor mass of ductal adenocarcinoma most commonly arises from the head of the pancreas which are the sections where the bile duct joins with the pancreatic duct, the normal flow of the bile duct is often obstructed, thus disrupting the natural deposition of the bile fluid into the small bowel. This bile duct obstruction causes a back-up of the bile pigment into areas where it shouldnt normally go creating the clinical symptoms of jaundice with its attendant yellowish skin coloration and other associated changes, and which is often accompanied by a loss of appetite and by the symptom of unrelenting and often debilitating pruritis of the skin.
Additionally, the lack of bile salts which are now unavailable for normal digestive and other bowel processes, can result in complex physiological interactions leading to liver and immune dysfunction. This interruption of normal bile deposition may also disrupt the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and the conjugation of endotoxins, thus leading to possible blood coagulation difficulties, malabsorption syndromes and even kidney failure. Also, up to ten percent of affected patients may develop cholangitis .
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Pancreatic Cancer
Alex Trebek Shines Spotlight on Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
In October of 2019 seven months after announcing that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer Jeopardy host Alex Trebek produced a public service announcement about the disease. I wish I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer, he told viewers, noting that the disease is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits.
Trebeks willingness to talk about his diagnosis has shone a powerful spotlight on a disease that accounts for only 3% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. Because pancreatic cancer is rare and its symptoms dont always raise a red flag, its tough to detect in the early stages. Knowing the risk factors and symptoms is key to earlier detection.