Williams Cancer Institute

Pancreatic Cancer

WHAT IS PANCREATIC CANCER?

Pancreatic cancer, also known as pancreatic adenocarcinoma, begins in the pancreas, an important organ found behind the stomach. The pancreas has three main parts; the head located on the right of the belly and close to the intestine, the body, located behind the stomach, and finally, the tail that is found on the left side of the belly near the spleen.

Causes
To this day, there is still no direct cause for pancreatic cancer, but scientists and physicians have found certain risk factors that can increase the probability of developing pancreatic cancer. These will be discussed next.

Risk factors
Many risk factors are preventable by adopting a healthier lifestyle which includes daily physical activity, balanced nutrition, stress-releasing practices, and adequate sleep. To reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer it is recommended to avoid smoking. Around 25% of pancreatic cancers are smoking-related. Being physically active will help you keep a healthy weight preventing obesity which is a high-risk factor. Having chronic pancreatitis can also increase the chances to develop the disease.

Symptoms
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer are the following:
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
• Itchy skin
• Darker than usual urine
• Constant abdominal pain
• Blood clots
• Diabetes

Prevention
Although there is no absolute way of preventing cancer, getting routine check-ups and screenings will help in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Partaking in daily physical activity, eating wholesome balanced nutrition, and managing stress are some other simple ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and minimize the risks of cancer attacking the body.

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