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11 Early Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer Stage 1

What are the early signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer stage 1? The pancreas is a natural organ found behind the gut. It discharges enzymes that help indigestion, as well as hormones that help in regulating blood sugar levels. 

If you are suffering from Pancreatic Cancer, you may not be able to experience a lump or mass when you clasp on the outside of the abdomen. You may not have any symptoms until Cancer has already spread. 

Unlike breast, colon, and prostate cancers, pancreatic cancer is not routinely detected with screening tests. People are usually not tested because no screening test for pancreatic cancer has been proven to save lives. 

Pancreatic Cancer is sometimes called a silent disease because it is the most treatable and the most difficult. If you want to know the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, then keep reading this post. Learning the risk factors for pancreatic cancer is your best protection against this disease. Let’s talk about some signs and symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer stage 1.

Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer Stage 1

Pancreatic Cancer is usually seen in the exocrine glands, which generate enzymes that support digestion. Or, it can be found in the endocrine glands, which produce the hormones insulin and glucagon, which control blood sugar levels. 

There are constantly no warning signs or symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer in the early stages of this Cancer. Some possible symptoms of pancreatic cancer may occur as the tumor progresses.

1. Pain

Abdominal pain

Pain is the signs that pancreatic cancer has spread. As cancer spreads, it can put pressure on nerves or other organs, causing pain. A blockage in the digestive tract can also cause pain. Most people with pancreatic cancer experience pain in their abdominal or back areas. 

2. Weight Loss 

weight loss

The first symptoms of pancreatic cancer is weight loss because pancreatic cancer can reduce your appetite. Some pancreatic cancers produce hormones that make it difficult for your body to get nutrients from foods. So even if you intake a regular diet, you may lose weight or become malnourished. 

3. Extreme Hunger or Thirst 

Extreme Hunger or Thirst 

These symptoms are the warnings of diabetes, a condition where your body does not produce enough insulin to control your blood sugar. Diabetes occurs when Cancer destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. 

4. Dark Urine 

dark urine

Bile is a yellow-brown fluid released by your liver to help your body digest food. Bile is usually stored in the gallbladder. It travels through the common bile duct into the intestines to be removed from your body via stool. But bilirubin cannot be removed when a tumor blocks the common bile duct, and too much of it builds up in your body. 

When you have too much bilirubin in your body, the excess can enter your urine and stain it brown. 

5. Enlarged Gallbladder

Enlarged Gallbladder

If the common bile duct is blocked, bile can become trapped in your gallbladder. This causes the gallbladder to become more significant than usual.

Your doctor may be able to feel for an enlarged gallbladder during an exam. You may also suffer from upper abdominal tenderness. 

6. Swelling, Redness, and Leg Pain

leg pain

These are signs of a blood clot in a deep vein in the leg. This is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A lump is periodically the first indication of pancreatic cancer. If the clot breaks off and moves to the lung, it can result in a pulmonary embolism. You are prone to have shortness of breath.

7. Weakness, Confusion, Sweating, and Fast Heartbeat

dizziness

These are the warning symptoms of insulinomas or tumors that generate insulin. Too much insulin reduces the level of sugar in your blood. You may keel over or even go into a coma if your blood sugar is too low. 

8. Nausea and Vomiting 

nausea

If the tumor influences hormones and enzymes affecting digestion, you may feel unhealthy to your stomach. Some pancreatic cancers boost the amount of acid in your gut. 

9. Diarrhea

Diarrhea

Diarrhea can occur with many types of Pancreatic Cancer. It can also be a symptom of a tumor called a VIPoma. This abnormal pancreatic tumor discharges a substance called a vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), which transmits more water into your digestive tract. Excess moisture in your intestines can cause severe, watery diarrhea. 

Pancreatic Cancer can also prevent you from absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat correctly, leading to diarrhea. 

10. Light-Colored or Greasy Stools 

Light-Colored or Greasy Stools 

Stools that include little or no bilirubin turn a lighter color. Cancer can also obstruct the pancreas from releasing its digestive enzymes, making it harder for your body to break down fat. This undigested fat can end up in your stool, causing it to float or look greasy. 

11. Jaundice 

jaundice

When jaundice occurs, the skin and the white part of the eyes turn yellow. People experiencing pancreatic Cancer may evolve jaundice when the tumor is in the head of the pancreas and obstructs the common bile duct.

Bilirubin does not pass through the body in sufficient amounts when this blockage occurs, leading to jaundice. 

What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic Cancer occurs when mutated cells grow out of control, forming a tumor. While the exact reason for causing pancreatic cancer is unknown, some risk factors are related to the illness, including tobacco smoking and obesity.

Also, people with an inherited cancer syndrome or specific genetic mutation have a higher risk of developing the disease.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer

● Smoking

● Obesity 

● Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) 

● Family history of a genetic syndrome

● Family history of pancreatic cancer. 

● Old age, as most people find it after the age of 65. 

Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer 

Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer 

The doctor may perform the following tests based on a person’s symptoms for a few weeks. First of all, the patient does a general test, in which the patient asks about the past disease history and pain, symptoms, and smoking addiction.

Apart from this, the physical examination detects the patient’s abdominal lump and may ask about swollen lymph nodes, pale skin, and weight loss. However, some other tests can be done to diagnose pancreatic Cancer accurately. 

● Blood test 

● MRI scan 

● Ultrasound 

● PET scan 

● City Scan 

● Biopsy. 

Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer is treated based on its type, stage, and health condition. However, pancreatic cancer is treated in the following ways. 

1. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the practice of utilizing drugs to work to kill cancer cells. These drugs can be injected into a vein or can be taken orally. Chemotherapy may also be combined with radiation therapy (chemistry).

Chemoradiation is commonly used to treat cancer that has not spread beyond the pancreas to other organs. In technological medical centers, this combination may be employed before surgery to comfort in shrinking the tumor. Chemotherapy can be used to monitor the development of cancer, relieve symptoms and prolong survival.

2. Surgery

Pancreatic Cancer can be cured entirely through surgery. Surgery accounts for about 15% to 20% of all people. If a person’s tumor has spread to the blood vessels, it can spread to other body parts, so removing cancer does not make the person healthy. 

3. Radiotherapy

In radiotherapy, radiotherapy is used to reduce the patient’s tumor and to relieve pain. High energy and light are used in radiotherapy. 

Be sure to read: What Does the Pancreas do

In Closing

It is important to remember that many different conditions can cause these or similar symptoms. Having one or more of these symptoms of pancreatic Cancer means you have Cancer. However, it is an excellent reason to see your doctor.

References

  1. Pancreatic cancer: A review of clinical diagnosis[1]
  2. Key Statistics for Pancreatic Cancer[2]
  3. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer – PubMed[3]
  4. Pancreatic cancer: why is it so hard to treat? – NCBI[4]
  5. Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms and Signs[5]
  6. Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer: challenges and new developments[6]
  7. What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer[7]

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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