Dr. Jae Lee said pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed in late stages when symptoms are present. But by this time, patients only have a few months to live and the cancer has spread.
Lee is a Medical Oncologist at the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center.
He said there aren’t any screening tests for pancreatic cancer. The disease is usually detected late or diagnosed incidentally. Surviving the disease is rare because when detected it has usually already spread to other organs.
Heavy alcoholic drinking and smoking may increase one’s risk of pancreatic cancer, said Lee. He also said being diagnosed with pancreatitis, in which the pancreas is inflamed, may increase one’s risk too.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer:
1. Abdominal pain
3. Weight loss
4. Change in urine color
5. Yellowing of skin - Jaundice