Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month



November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. It is a time to honor and remember those who have died of pancreatic cancer and to raise funds and awareness for those living with the disease today. Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month brings organizations and charities, around the world, together to unite as one team with the mission to spread awareness and help those with pancreatic cancer. In 2021 an estimated 60,430 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 48,220 will die from the disease. It is important to stay educated on pancreatic cancer risks and symptoms, so early dedication is possible.


Pancreatic Cancer Risks

There is no known specific cause of pancreatic cancer, however the risk factors below may increase one’s chance of being diagnosed with the disease.

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Family History

  • Pancreatitis

  • Increased Age

  • Heavy Alcohol Use

  • Lack of Physical Activity

  • Diet High in Red Meant and Saturated Fats


Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer symptoms can also be the cause of less serious more common health conditions. Symptoms may be vague and hard to diagnose.

  • Stomach Pain

  • Mid-Back Pain

  • Weight Loss Without Trying

  • Loss of Appetite/ Nausea

  • Changes in Stool

  • Jaundice

  • Indigestion

  • New-Onset Diabetes


Pancreatic Cancer Prevention

Knowing the risk factors of pancreatic cancer can be helpful in knowing what unhealthy habits to decrease to prevent pancreatic cancer.

  • Stop Smoking

  • Stay at a Healthy Weight

  • Drink Less Alcohol


Pancreatic Cancer Facts by Pancreatic.org

  • More than 90% of pancreatic cancer cases are pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC). These tumors develop in the exocrine tissue of the pancreas, which makes digestive enzymes.

  • The less common pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), develop in hormone-producing endocrine cells, or islet cells. Neuroendocrine tumors often have a better prognosis and younger median age of diagnosis.

  • Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. It is currently the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States after lung and colon.

  • In 2021 an estimated 60,430 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S., and more than 48,220 will die from the disease.

  • For all stages combined, the 5-year relative survival rate is 10%.


References

1. “November Is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.” Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, 12 Nov. 2021, https://pancreatic.org/november/.


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