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.