Pancreatic Cancer

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women, being responsible for 6 percent of all cancer-related deaths. Dr. Edward Hill discusses pancreatic cancer in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The pancreas is an organ near your stomach that controls your blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas grow out of control. This kind of cancer usually spreads fast. Patients usually live less than one year, even if the cancer is caught early.

A history of pancreatitis, having a close family member with pancreatic cancer, certain rare genetic conditions, and tobacco and alcohol use all increase your risk.

You usually do not have symptoms until the cancer is already advanced. Symptoms of advanced cancer include losing weight without meaning to, stomach or back pain, yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, loss of appetite, and depression.

Because these symptoms can also be caused by other diseases, you should see your doctor if you are worried. He or she may suggest other tests to figure out the cause of your symptoms.

Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Treatment depends on your age, health, and the stage and location of the cancer.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.