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The Signs & Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

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According to the most recent statistics from the American Cancer Society, approximately 48,960 men and women will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015. Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate compared to all other major cancers and results in roughly 7-percent of all cancer deaths.

Sadly, the majority of pancreatic cancer patients show only vague symptoms of the disease, meaning most are only diagnosed in the advanced stages when chances of survival are quite reduced. However, recognizing a combination of these early warning signs can help save your life if you suspect pancreatic cancer…

1. Jaundice

Jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin and eyes, is common to those suffering from pancreatic cancer. Jaundice develops when there are excessive levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream, or when a liver bile duct becomes blocked by a tumor. Even though jaundice creates relatively little physical discomfort, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Jaundice can also be caused by numerous other factors, including infectious diseases and liver problems. Your doctor will likely begin by investigating and ruling out these more common causes before doing any cancer tests.

One of the major complications of jaundice is inflammation of the pancreas, which can lead to nonspecific but persistent and potentially severe abdominal pain. Your doctor may suspect pancreatic cancer if your jaundice is accompanied by these types of pain symptoms. Sepsis, liver failure, renal failure and problems with coagulation can also result from extended and severe cases of jaundice.

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