Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms,Treatments and Living with a terminal illness
Pancreatic cancer is often described as wolf in sheep’s clothing, because the early symptoms often mimic the symptoms of common problems, such as acid indigestion or a backache. The symptoms typically do not appear until the disease has already reached an advanced stage, so it is difficult for early detection.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
If you experience any symptoms of pancreatic cancer, it is important to see your family physician as soon as possible. Even if the symptoms are not related to pancreatic cancer, they ultimately warrant an evaluation by a medical professional. Pancreatic cancer, although it has been receiving a great deal of acknowledgment lately, is considered a rare disease. Symptoms may include:
* Jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin
* Pain in upper part of the abdomen. The pain may radiate towards your back and it may get worse a few hours after eating or while lying down.
* Unintentional weight loss
* Loss of appetite
* Nausea and/or vomiting
* Itchy skin
* Change in color of urine and/or stool
* An unexpected onset of diabetes
Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer
In the majority of people, the only cure for pancreatic cancer is surgery to remove the tumors. However, tumors in the pancreas typically spread and/or begin to wrap around main arteries, so the percentage of candidates for surgery is extremely low. There are treatments available to ease the pain and discomfort associated with the disease. Chemotherapy is sometimes recommended, however, it is usually recommended in the first stages.
One of the most difficult things to do when told you have a life-threatening condition, is to learn how to “live”. It is important to never lose hope and do everything you can to enjoy your life. Spend time on yourself, pamper yourself with a spa treatment, have desert with every meal and as difficult as it is, prepare yourself and your loved ones for the outcome of this devastating diagnosis. If you have children, consider seeking the assistance of a counselor who specializes in grief to talk with you and your children together. As difficult as it may be, it is also important to express your final wishes and encourage your loved ones to only think about the present.