The pancreas is a vital organ in the body that helps in the regulation of sugar in the blood. When the pancreas develops cancer, it spreads to other parts of the body such as spleen, stomach, lungs, liver, and bowel, leading to stage 4 pancreatic cancer if no immediate medical action is taken.
Studies show nearly 53% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are already at stage 4. Cancer stages can be established once a patient has undergone surgery. The surgery establishes the extent of cancer, how much it has spread to other body organs, and the size of the tumor.
In the second and third stage, pancreatic cancer has spread to the blood vessels and the lymph nodes. Oncologists can use the size of the tumor to establish pancreatic cancer stage. All tumors below four centimeters are categorized under stage 1 pancreatic cancer. Tumor size increases depending on how far cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Note that stage 4 pancreatic cancer has no cure because it has spread to many organs in the body. At the final stage, one is put under intensive treatment to live healthily and help relieve severe pain.
Early detection of pancreatic cancer is helpful in establishing the treatment method to be applied by oncologists. Different methods can be used to treat stage 1 pancreatic cancer.
Therefore, it is advisable to seek early cancer screening. One should also take note of the possible signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer such as weight loss, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin, and pain in upper abdomen, to help them decide on when to seek medical attention.