When you hear the words pancreatic cancer, you may feel a number of emotions. As you may know, this cancer can spread rapidly and is hard to diagnose in its early stages. If you are concerned about pancreatic cancer, it's important that you gather as much information as you can. At St. Anthony's Hospital, we are here to help answer all your questions and help you guard your health.
Risks and Symptoms: Get Educated
Your pancreas is an organ that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach. It helps regulate digestion and the metabolism of sugars. As you research pancreatic cancer, you'll find that the risks for this disease are not terribly clear, but here are some factors to consider
Family history: If you have family members who have had pancreatic cancer, your chances of developing the disease are higher.
Age: Usually, people over the age of 60 are at greater risk for this cancer.
Weight: People who are overweight or obese have greater chances of being diagnosed.
Race: Research shows that African Americans are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than people of other races.
Smoking: If you smoke, your risk for this cancer is higher.
Diabetes: Research shows that people with diabetes carry an increased risk for this cancer.
While there are no sure-fire ways to prevent pancreatic cancer, it's advisable to be as healthy as you can. Every precaution you take can help keep illnesses at bay.
Eat right: By consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, you will be feeding your body antioxidants and vitamins that help prevent disease.
Keep moving: The American Cancer Society suggests that everyone participate in 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity at least five times a week. This will keep your body strong and flexible.
Watch your weight: Use your diet and exercise plan to keep your weight down. This will put less pressure on all your organs.
Stop smoking: If you smoke, talk to your doctor about the best way to quit. And if you don't smoke, don't start.
One of the most worrisome things about pancreatic cancer is that symptoms seldom present themselves in the early stages. So if you see any of these signs, or a combination of them, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Jaundice - the yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
- Blood clots
For more information on pancreatic cancer care and screenings at The Cancer Center at St. Anthony’s Hospital, please call (727) 825-1253.
St. Anthony's Cancer Center
1201 5th Ave. N., Suite 130
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Phone: (727) 825-1253
Fax: (727) 825-1332