Pancreatic cancer is a severe disease that affects the pancreas which is right behind the stomach. It is essential to understand pancreatic cancer’s primary symptoms and causes for early detection and effective treatment. Here is what Dr Tanmoy Mandal, the best chemotherapy doctor in Kolkata, is saying: 

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is most likely to occur when cells in the pancreas grow out of control, therefore forming a tumour. The pancreas produces enzymes that help with digestion and hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. When cancer affects the pancreas, it can interfere with these vital functions.

Primary Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

  • Abdominal Pain: Persistent pain in the abdomen, often radiating to the back, is a common symptom of pancreatic cancer. This pain may worsen after eating or lying down.
  • Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and eyes, known as jaundice, can occur when pancreatic cancer obstructs the bile duct. This can cause dark urine, pale stools and itching.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Sudden and unexplained weight loss, even when eating normally, can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. This is because the tumour can affect the body’s ability to digest food properly.
  • Loss of Appetite: Pancreatic cancer can cause a decrease in appetite and feelings of fullness even after eating small amounts of food.
  • Digestive Problems: Difficulty digesting food, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may occur as a result of pancreatic cancer affecting the digestive system.
  • New-Onset Diabetes: In some cases, pancreatic cancer can lead to diabetes, primarily if the tumour affects the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Common Causes of Pancreatic Cancer

Check out the common causes of pancreatic cancer, as stated by Dr. Tanmoy Mandal, a leading medical oncologist in Kolkata.

  • Age: The risk of pancreatic cancer increases with age, with the majority of cases occurring in individuals over 60 years old.
  • Smoking: Tobacco use is one of the leading risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Smokers are twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer compared to non-smokers.
  • Family History: Having a close relative, such as a parent, sibling, or child, who has had pancreatic cancer increases the risk of developing the disease.
  • Chronic Pancreatitis: Long-term inflammation of the pancreas, known as chronic pancreatitis, can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Diabetes: Individuals with long-standing diabetes have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, although the exact relationship between the two conditions is not fully understood.

Pancreatic cancer is a severe disease with often vague symptoms that can be mistaken for other less severe conditions. Early detection is crucial for improving the chances of successful treatment. If you experience persistent symptoms, it is essential to consult with the best chemotherapy doctor in Kolkata for further evaluation. Understanding pancreatic cancer’s primary symptoms and causes can help raise awareness and promote early detection, leading to better patient outcomes.