Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the U.S., according to the
American Cancer Society, and approximately 7% of all cancer deaths. It is considered to be a particularly
dangerous form of cancer because it is difficult to diagnose early and
can spread quickly. At
West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, we provide comprehensive cancer care to patients facing a diagnosis of
pancreatic cancer, with cutting-edge treatments provided by a compassionate
team of experts. Raising awareness about the disease may help to reduce
its devastating impacts. Here are the facts you need to know.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms are vague.
The most common form of
pancreatic cancer, which starts in the exocrine cells, does not usually cause symptoms until
the disease progresses. When symptoms do occur, they are generally vague
and may not be initially recognized as cancer. They include weight loss,
back and abdomen pain, fatigue, and yellowing of the skin and eyes. Often,
patients find out they have pancreatic cancer late in the disease process
when it has spread to another organ that triggers more obvious symptoms.
There are several risk factors.
Some risk factors for pancreatic cancer can be controlled, such as smoking
and being overweight. Other risk factors can’t be changed, such
as being over 65, being male, being African-American, having a family
history of the disease or a personal history of diabetes, chronic pancreatitis,
and cirrhosis. Having risk factors for pancreatic cancer doesn’t
mean that you will get the disease, but it can help you be more alert
to potential symptoms so you can be proactive about getting examined if
you experience them.
Multiple treatments are available.
Your cancer team will create a care plan for you based on a number of
different factors, including the stage of your cancer and whether it has
spread to other organs. Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery, and radiation
may all be used, either alone or in combination.
Sophisticated cancer care at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center means
that patients with all forms of cancer have access to state-of-the-art
treatment from a multidisciplinary team of providers. Call our hospital
in West Hills today at (818) 676-4321 for more information.