It’s tough to nail down how many people aren’t aware they have a disease. But when it comes to pancreatic cancer, we KNOW that number is high.
Most folks with this so-called “silent killer” don’t experience disturbing, can’t-ignore symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to spread.
But notice what I didn’t say there. It’s not that pancreatic cancer doesn’t have any symptoms. This deadly disease has plenty of warning signs.
The trouble is they can be subtle. You can miss the red flags if you don’t know what to look for. Plus, they often don’t seem related to the disease.
But not catching these understated symptoms early enough could be a literal death sentence. I’ll share those crucial warning signs with you in just a moment. But first, let’s take a quick look at what we’re facing with pancreatic cancer.
Meet your pancreas
You surely have heard of the pancreas before. But many folks aren’t really sure what this vital organ does.
Your pancreas is located in your abdominal area beneath your liver and behind your stomach. It’s about six inches long, three inches wide, and relatively flat. And it has two important jobs.
- secretes fluids that are essential for digestion in the small intestine
- makes the hormones insulin and glucagon, which regulate your blood sugar
And although pancreatic cancer is far from the most common, it is in the top five killers. Around 48,000 folks are diagnosed annually with the disease, and about 40,000 will die from it.
This is why spotting pancreatic cancer EARLY is so critical. Because despite the myth that the disease is always deadly, it can be treated with surgery and medications when caught early enough before it spreads to other organs.
Because the pancreas is located deep in the abdomen and “hidden” by other organs, pancreatic cancer can be difficult to spot with many imaging tests. Even worse, there aren’t currently any general screening tools or standard blood tests for the cancer.
That makes watching for symptoms and acting fast if you spot any critical.
6 critical red flags for pancreatic cancer
Following are six of the most common pancreatic cancer symptoms. They often cross over with those of other, sometimes benign, illnesses. And that can make them easy to ignore.
Upper abdominal pain: Discomfort or pain in the upper tummy is one of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer. And it’s often one of the first symptoms to show up. So although stomach pain is a common complaint with many illnesses, it shouldn’t be ignored if it’s unusual for you, shows up suddenly, hangs around, or is combined with other symptoms.
Mid-back pain: Pain in the area below your shoulder blades where a bra strap might hit is another common pancreatic cancer symptom. It can radiate into the shoulder and may show up with the upper abdominal pain I already mentioned. The pain can be caused by the tumor pressing on nerves or organs near the pancreas.
Pale and smelly BMs: Pancreatic cancer can cause issues with your bowel movements. Stools can become pale, clay-colored, and smelly. And because of poor digestion, they can be large, float, and be difficult to flush. You may also experience constipation or diarrhea, both quite common issues on their own. So your doctor can determine if your bowel changes are anything to be concerned about.
Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, or jaundice, can occur when a pancreatic tumor blocks the bile duct. Bile contains a yellow pigment called bilirubin, normally excreted from the body. But when the bile duct is blocked, bilirubin builds up, causing skin yellowing and itching.
Unintended weight loss: If you’re not actively trying to lose weight but notice that your clothes are looser, check in with your doctor. Unexplained weight loss is a common early symptom of pancreatic cancer.
Diabetes: Obviously, not everyone who develops diabetes has pancreatic cancer. But if you’re suddenly and unexpectedly diagnosed with diabetes without gaining weight, it could be a sign of pancreatic cancer. The tumor can interfere with the pancreas producing enough insulin and glucagon.
Pancreatic cancer DOESN’T have to be a death sentence
Other common complaints include indigestion that doesn’t respond to medications, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and dark-colored urine.
In many cases, any one of the symptoms alone probably isn’t too much of a concern. But if you experience one or more of them, and they’re persistent and out of the ordinary for you, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your primary care physician or gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
With pancreatic cancer, the earlier the disease is detected, the better chance you will have of beating this killer. In fact, it can quadruple your survival odds. And the disease can often be detected with standard endoscopy.
This leads me to one of the strangest red flags of all.
Recent research has linked a seemingly unrelated but common condition to a significantly higher chance of developing pancreatic cancer in the following year. I shared all the details in my earlier report, “This deadly cancer has an odd early warning sign.” Click on the link to find out if you’re at risk.
So what happens if you receive a diagnosis? Well, what if I were to tell you there’s a way to battle back against killer cancer cells without harming nearby healthy ones? Even more remarkable is that this simple natural compound is in every grocery store in the country.
HealthierTalk friend and mentor Dr. Fred Pescatore has released all the details about this and other cancer treatments he’s developed in his 20+ years in practice in his Essential Cancer Protocol.
Ready to enroll? Click here to learn more.
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