Pancreatic cancer, as the name suggests, is a kind of cancer that starts in the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. The job of the pancreas is to help regulate blood sugar and produce enzymes that are necessary for digestion. It is rare for pancreatic cancer to be found during its early stages. It usually spreads to other parts of the body quickly. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to spreading awareness about the disease. The first step in building your knowledge of pancreatic cancer may be to learn the symptoms that could indicate an older family member has it.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
When pancreatic cancer first begins, there are usually no noticeable signs. Symptoms typically don’t appear until the cancer has spread. Once they do begin, symptoms may include:
- Jaundice: Jaundice makes the eyes and skin look yellowish. It is usually one of the first symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Jaundice happens when bilirubin builds up in the liver. This happens when the tumor blocks off the common bile duct. People with jaundice might also have darkly colored urine, stool that is light in color, or greasy stools. Jaundice can also make skin feel itchy.
- Pain: Pancreatic cancer can cause pain in the belly or back. The pain may be caused by a tumor pushing on nearby organs or by cancer spreading to nerves in the back.
- Weight Loss: People with pancreatic cancer frequently have very little appetite. It can also make them feel nauseated and vomit. Depending on the location of the tumor, pain can be worse after the person eats, too. All of this can lead to unintended weight loss.
The American Cancer Society points out that these symptoms can also be caused by many other things. So, if your aging relative has one of the symptoms, you shouldn’t automatically begin worrying about pancreatic cancer. However, it is important to have them evaluated by a doctor.
If someone you love does have pancreatic cancer, elder care can help keep them comfortable at home and assist them during treatment. Cancer treatment is often exhausting and makes it difficult for people to keep up with household duties. Elder care can assist with cleaning and laundry. Elder care providers can also help by preparing meals and snacks, so the older adult can eat when they feel up to it. And, if your aging relative needs transportation to treatment appointments, elder care can help with that, too.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF SUMMERLIN. 702-800-4616.