Beware po­ten­tial signs of pan­cre­atic cancer

La Semana - - TEMAS | -

One in three adults might ig­nore po­ten­tial symp­toms of pan­cre­atic cancer, ac­cord­ing to a charity.

Stom­ach ache, in­di­ges­tion, un­ex­plained weight loss and fae­ces that float rather than sink in the lava­tory can be warn­ing signs of the po­ten­tially deadly dis­ease, says Pan­cre­atic Cancer UK.

Early de­tec­tion and treat­ment are vi­tal to save lives.

Nikki Davies was di­ag­nosed in March, aged 51. Her tu­mour was caught early, mean­ing a sur­geon could re­move it.

"I have been in­cred­i­bly lucky that mine could be op­er­ated on and hadn't spread, as far as we can tell.

"My mes­sage to oth­ers would be that no-one knows your body like you do.

"Know what the symp­toms are and talk to your GP if you no­tice any­thing that's un­usual for you.

"Deep down, I think you know some­thing is wrong.

"For me, it was the pain. It felt like an an­i­mal was eating me from the in- side. It was in my back too, be­tween my shoul­der blades. And I'd lost a lot of weight very quickly.

"I didn't know any­thing about pan­cre­atic cancer be­fore my di­ag­no­sis, and I cer­tainly wouldn't have known what the symp­toms were." KNOW THE SIGNS

Cur­rently, about one in 10 peo­ple di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion sur­vives be­yond five years.

This is in large part due to most pa­tients be­ing di­ag­nosed at a late stage, when treat­ment op­tions are very limited, says Pan­cre­atic Cancer UK.

Its sur­vey of 4,000 UK adults sug­gests aware­ness of the symp­toms is still too low.

Alex Ford, chief ex­ec­u­tive at Pan­cre­atic Cancer UK, said: "We do not want peo­ple to panic if they have some or all of these symp­toms, be­cause most peo­ple who have them will not have pan­cre­atic cancer.

"But it is vi­tal that peo­ple know more about this dis­ease, and talk to their GP if they have any con­cerns.

"The ear­lier peo­ple are di­ag­nosed, the more likely they are to be able to have surgery, which is the one treat­ment which can save lives." Com­mon symp­toms of pan­cre­atic cancer in­clude: stom­ach and back ache un­ex­plained weight loss in­di­ges­tion changes to bowel habits, in­clud­ing float­ing fae­ces Other symp­toms in­clude: loss of ap­petite jaun­dice (yel­low skin or eyes or itchy skin) feel­ing and be­ing sick dif­fi­culty swal­low­ing re­cently di­ag­nosed diabetes

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