Pancreatic cancer was the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths until 2016 when it surpassed breast cancer and thus moved to the third place. It affects both men and women but it is more common in men.
If the pancreatic tumor is diagnosed within the early stages of malignancy, the patient has an 85% chance of full recovery in five years. However, if the tumor is diagnosed in later chances, the patient only has 3% chances of recovery.
Pancreatic cancer is very difficult to detect in the early stages as it progresses very quickly. Many times, symptoms only develop when the tumor has grown significantly or, if they exist but are easily ignored.
Although the patient has high chances of recovery in the early stages, it goes unnoticed until it is too late.
We have selected some of the earliest indications that can point to pancreatic cancer that should alert you in case they appear.
Jaundice is not exclusive to pancreatic cancer and it is caused by excess bilirubin. Jaundice makes the skin and eyes develop a yellow shade and it is a clear indication that you should consult a doctor as soon as practical.
Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that forms when the dead red blood cells breakdown in the liver.
When tumor prevents the release of excessive bile from the body and liver, bilirubin accumulates in the body and causes the eyes and skin to have a yellow color.
Jaundice becomes more visible as the tumor grows and spreads into the liver. Thus, patients in both early and low stages of pancreatic cancer show jaundice.