Pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms to look out for
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Cancer is a scary prospect mainly due to symptoms often slipping under the radar. The sooner you catch the culprit, the higher your chances of successful treatment. Fortunately, an expert has shared the “early” symptom of pancreatic cancer that could ring alarm bells.
Pancreatic cancer has “one of the worst survival rates”, according to Dr Jiri Kubes of Proton Therapy UK.
This bleak statement underlines the importance of getting an early diagnosis to improve your survival outcomes.
Fortunately, the doctor has shared the “red flag” signs that appear in the initial stages of pancreatic cancer, including pyrexia.
While signs like jaundice and dark urine are well-known symptoms of this cancer type, pyrexia could also reveal the condition.
READ MORE: Acholic stools are ‘the most common’ sign of pancreatic cancer in ‘initial’ stages
Pyrexia, also known as fever, describes an increase in the body temperature of an individual beyond the normal range.
The doctor explained that this sign can crop up “in the early stages” based on patients’ reports.
Even a study, published in the journal Medicine, reports that fever can occur as a symptom of pancreatic cancer.
The research looked at a 63-year-old man who struggled with daily fevers, night sweats, and fatigue over a two-month period.
Histological examination revealed that the patient was suffering from pancreatic cancer, with the research team concluding that fever could be a sign of this deadly condition.
Apart from pyrexia, Dr Kubes added that other “early” symptoms could include loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, high temperature and fatigue.
The expert added: “You may also notice yellowing of the skin or eyes, also known as jaundice, while darker urine or paler stools can also be a red flag.
“It’s important to note that many of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer can also be caused by other, less serious illnesses, so if you suspect anything is wrong, you should see your GP immediately.
READ MORE: ‘Really reassuring’: Doctor hails two-minute exercise that can boost your life expectancy
“Having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have pancreatic cancer, but the disease is more treatable if detected early enough so it’s vital to be aware.”
While these red flag signs could be also pointing to other conditions, it’s still important to get them checked.
According to Cancer.Net, the full list of warning signs tied to pancreatic cancer includes:
- Yellow skin (including yellowing of the gums and inner lips) and/or eyes, darkening of the urine, itching, and clay-coloured stool, which are signs of jaundice caused by a blockage of the bile ducts
- Pain in the upper abdomen, upper back, or arms
- Painful swelling of an arm or leg due to a blood clot
- Burning feeling in the stomach or other gastrointestinal discomforts
- Stomach bloating
- Floating stools with a particularly bad odour and an unusual colour due to the body not digesting fats well
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chills and sweats
- Unexplained weight loss.
How to reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer
From a healthy diet to quitting smoking, you can add various weapons to your arsenal of protection.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should follow a diet packed with colourful fruits and veggies that can help bust your cancer risk.
Another important addition to your food regime could be whole grains – think brown rice and whole-wheat flour.
The health portal adds that you should also maintain or ensure you have a healthy weight through exercise and an effective diet.
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