Know the Symptoms and Risks of the Deadliest Major Cancer

Can you name a symptom or risk factor of pancreatic cancer?

The disease is the deadliest major cancer with a five-year survival of just 9 percent. And although pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, Americans are still unfamiliar with the complexities of this vital organ.

Today, on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, we are urging the nation to be #PANCaware by learning more about the pancreas and the symptoms and risks associated with pancreatic cancer.

The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine, with two main functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation. Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor.

The disease may cause only vague symptoms, but if you are experiencing one or more of the below unexplained symptoms, PanCAN urges you to see your doctor. Symptoms include abdominal or mid-back pain, loss of appetite, jaundice, weight loss, nausea, change in stool and recent onset diabetes.

The exact causes of pancreatic cancer are not yet well understood. Research studies have identified certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood that an individual will develop pancreatic cancer. These risk factors include family history, diet, obesity, race, smoking, gender, age, diabetes and pancreatitis. You can assess your risk of pancreatic cancer by taking our quick Risk Assessment Test.

Now that you know the symptoms and risk factors, share what you’ve learned with your friends, family and your network on social media using the hashtag #PANCaware.

Want to do even more? Visit pancan.org/demandbetter to learn about the other ways you can stand with PanCAN this month to demand better for patients.

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