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Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Sign, Symptoms And Prognosis For Those Suffering From Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer.

Each year in the United States, over 40,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In fact, this disease ranks in the top 5 causes of death in the United States. This cancer attacks the pancreas, an important part of both the digestive and endocrine body systems. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include loss of appetite, vomiting, upper abdominal pain, jaundice, and significant weight loss. Often times, pancreatic cancer spreads outside of the pancreas to the liver and to the lining of the intestines. When this happens, it is known as metastatic pancreatic cancer. This condition is also sometimes referred to as stage 4 pancreatic cancer. People who have metastatic pancreatic cancer face a very poor prognosis.

Since this type of pancreatic cancer is extremely advanced and has affected multiple body organs, the patient has less time left to live as opposed to those whose cancer is in the early stages. Metastatic pancreatic cancer patients are usually expected to live no longer than three to six months after their initial diagnosis. Metastatic pancreatic cancer is inoperable. There is no cure for this disease, and it does not respond to other treatment options such as chemotherapy. For patients suffering from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the care provided is usually palliative in nature. This means that the goal of this treatment is to relieve the patient's suffering and help them to be as comfortable as possible. This type of care also helps by supporting the patient through a difficult time.

Palliative care helps improve the quality of the patient's remaining days. There are many things that increase a person's risk of developing metastatic pancreatic cancer. This cancer is prevalent in African-American males over the age of 60. Smoking cigarettes, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and being clinically obese also put a patient at risk. Family history can also play a large part in a patient's risk factor for developing this cancer. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of metastatic pancreatic cancer patients have a family history of pancreatic cancer.

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