Symptoms

Is this symptom or side effect unusual?

Patients and family members have actually posted numerous questions in our conversation Board about symptoms and side effects of treatment, wondering if what friend or your loved one is enduring is inexplicable or reason for alarm.

As always, this information is not a instead of for your physician"s advice yet rather an educational resource to help you said your suffer to rather in a comparable situation.

NOTE: other symptoms not detailed here might arise due to the spread out of cancer to far-off sites or as a an outcome of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

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List the symptoms and side effects

Below is a perform of commonly-experienced symptom of pancreatic cancer and side effects of various treatments.


Abdominal Distension (Ascites) ▼


Frequency: Not unusual in patients with advanced disease

Causes: spread of the cancer come the abdominal cavity; Liver disease; Portal vein thrombosis

Intervention: treatment varies depending on the cause.


Abdominal pain ▼


Frequency: Very common; approximately 3/4 of patient with advanced disease

Cause: frequently caused through the tumor growing huge enough come push against surrounding organs and also nerves. May worsen after eat or as soon as lying down. Likewise common during recovery indigenous surgery.

Intervention: Pain medication (analgesics) Opiates are really effective if bring away regularly and also at exactly dosage. Opiates frequently cause constipation and may it is in taken through laxatives. If pain persists, a celiac nerve block may be considered. This entails the injection the alcohol right into the nerves close to the pancreas to block the emotion of pain. The injection deserve to be provided through the skin, during surgery or during an endoscopic ultrasound.


Anemia - a low red blood cell count ▼


Frequency: Occasional

Cause: regularly related come chemotherapy.

Intervention: medication - Erythropoietin


Anorexia - a diminished appetite and/or aversion to food ▼


Frequency: Common

Cause: loss of appetite and discomfort after ~ eating. Weight loss is usual to virtually all species of cancer. The cancer cells complete with common cells for nutrients. Also, tumors the the pancreas frequently interfere with digestion which more contributes to weight loss.

Intervention: the is daunting to law this weight loss, particularly loss of muscle mass.Nutritional additional such together Ensure might be that benefit.Appetite stimulants such as Megace (medroxyacetate) may be of modest benefit.Occasionally a feeding tube (PEG) is put in the stomach during endoscopy.


Back ache ▼


Frequency: Very usual especially in patient with advanced disease

Cause: frequently caused through the tumor growing large enough to push versus surrounding organs and nerves. Might worsen after eating or as soon as lying down.

Intervention: Pain medicine (analgesics). Opiates are an extremely effective if taken regularly and at exactly dosage. Opiates frequently cause constipation and also may it is in taken through laxatives. If pain persists, a celiac nerve block might be considered. This requires the injection the alcohol right into the nerves close to the pancreas come block the emotion of pain. The injection can be provided through the skin, throughout surgery or during an endoscopic ultrasound.


Bleeding ▼


Frequency: Uncommon

Cause: The anti-cancer medicine given during chemotherapy influence normal cells and cancer cells. As soon as normal blood cells room affected, the blood cells might not clot well i beg your pardon may reason the patience to bleed easily.

Intervention: If severe, platelet and also blood transfusions might be administered.


Bone pain ▼


Frequency: Uncommon

Cause: spread out of the cancer to bone

Intervention: medicine (Biphosphorates) might be helpful


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Third degree Relatives - First cousins, great-aunts and also uncles

An inherited genetic variation in DNA the you space born with

Second degree Relatives - Aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces and nephews

First level relatives - Blood loved ones in your immediate family: parents, children, and siblings

This is one experimental type of treatment. It is a medicine made of killed or dilute cells, biology or manufactured materials, which is offered to boost the body"s immune system. Ideally, this will enable the body to fight and also kill the cancer cells much more effectively. Vaccines include whole killed cancer cells or certain proteins indigenous the cancer.

Also known as a pancreatoduodenectomy, the Whipple procedure is the surgery generally performed to remove cancers the the head of the pancreas (the component of the kidnize on the ideal side of your body). It commonly involves the surgical removal that the head the the pancreas, a section of the duodenum and a part of the bile ducts.

The part of the pancreas that bends backwards, hooking around two really important blood vessels, the premium mesenteric artery and also vein. The word "uncinate" originates from the indigenous uncus which method "hook."

Unable come be surgically removed. This usually method that the cancer has spread past the areas that can be eliminated surgically.

This term simply refers come a "mass" or neoplasm. For example, a collection of pus is a tumor. This is a general term that deserve to refer to one of two people benign or malignant growths.

A painless procedure in i m sorry high frequency sound tide are provided to generate images of the within of the body. An ultrasound devise can be put at the end of a scope, and also the scope put into the duodenum, providing very detailed photos of the pancreas. This is called "endoscopic ultrasound."

A gerean within the blood vessels. It may occlude (block) the ship or may be attached come the wall surface of the vessel there is no blocking the blood flow.

An inflammation the the veins attach by thrombus formation. The is sometimes referred to as Trousseau"s sign.

Excessive amounts of fat in the stool. Periodically this can show up as an oil slick on peak of the toilet water after ~ the patience has had actually a bowel movement. It have the right to be a authorize that the kidnize isn"t to work well.

A slender hollow tube placed into the human body to relax a blockage. For example, pancreas cancers often thrive into the bile duct as the bile duct passes v the pancreas. This can block the flow of bile and cause the patient to come to be jaundiced. In these instances the flow of bile deserve to be reestablished by place a stent into the bile duct, with the area of blockage.

The lengthy thin component of gland in the left part of abdomen, near the spleen.

A maroon colored, rounded body organ in the upper left part of the abdomen, near the tail the the pancreas. This organ is component of your immune system and also filters the lymph and also blood in your body. It is frequently removed during the distal pancreatectomy surgical procedure.

A flat, scale-like cell. Although most pancreatic cancers look choose ducts under the microscope, a small fraction look favor squamous cells.

A category system the is offered to explain the degree of disease. Clinicians usage it to predict the most likely survival the a patient.

An epidemic of the blood. This deserve to be life-threatening and also is frequently treated through antibiotics.

A long (20 foot) tube that stretches from the stomach come the huge intestine. It help absorb nutrients from food as the food is transported come the huge intestine. There space three sections: the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum. As result of its proximity to the pancreas, the duodenum is the ar of the little intestine many often impacted by pancreatic cancer.

The use of high-energy waves comparable to x-rays to treat a cancer. Radiation therapy is usually offered to law a neighborhood area of an illness and regularly is given in mix with chemotherapy.

Able to be eliminated surgically. Typically this way that the cancer is border to locations typically gotten rid of surgically.

A malignant tumor that looks choose connective tissues (bone, cartilage, muscle)under the microscope. Sarcomas are very rare in the pancreas.

A cancer in the organ where it started in. A primary cancer the the kidnize is one that started in the pancreas as opposed come a cancer that began somewhere else and only later spread to the pancreas.

A estimate for the probable outcome of a condition based top top the suffer of large numbers of other patients with similar stage disease. Importantly, make a prognosis is not specific science. Some patients with poor prognosis beat the odds and also live much longer than everyone would have predicted. Steve Dunn"s Cancer overview has wonderful article on statistics and also prognoses and also stories of various other cancer patients.

A thick ring of muscle (a sphincter) between the stomach and also duodenum. This sphincter helps regulate the release of the stomach contents into the tiny intestine.

A medical doctor specially trained to study disease processes. Pathologists make the microscopic diagnosis the is used to develop the diagnosis the cancer.

Around the ampulla the Vater in the duodenum. The peri-ampullary an ar is consisted of of 4 structures; the ampulla, the duodenum, the bile duct and also the head of the pancreas. The is sometimes daunting to call which structure a tumor originated in. In such situations the diagnosis will certainly be a peri-ampullary tumor.

The biochemical study of plants; came to with the identification, biosynthesis, line of chemistry constituents the plants; especially in regards to herbal products.

An oblong organ located between the stomach and also the spine. The pancreas secretes enzymes required for the digestion of food and it produces hormones such together insulin and glucagon which aid control blood sugar.

Any treatment that reduce the severity of a an illness or the symptoms. Palliative treatment is frequently a part of the treatment setup for patients with progressed pancreatic cancer.

A term supplied to describe specific tumors which thrive in finger-like projections. Pathologists usage this ax to describe some precancerous lesions in the pancreas (intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm).

An abnormal new growth of organization that grows much more rapidly than regular cells and will continue to thrive if no treated. This growths will contend with regular cells for nutrients. This is a basic term that deserve to refer come benign or malignant growths. That is a synonym for words tumor.

A clinical doctor that specializes in the treatment of tumors. Oncologists often treat patients through pancreatic cancer with chemotherapy.

A surgically created opening in an body organ that can likewise be referred to as an anastamosis. Periodically when surgeons remove a segment the bowel they produce an ostomy to permit for the bowel contents to departure the body.

A cancer that has actually spread from one body organ to another. Pancreas cancer most generally metastasizes to the liver. In general, cancers that have metastasized are normally not treated surgically, yet instead space treated through chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

An change in the DNA that a cell. Think the it together a typographically error in the DNA code.

The thin ar of the pancreas between the head and the body of the gland.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy that is provided to patient before surgery. Some centers feel the the use of neoadjuvant therapy improves local and regional control of an illness and the it may make much more patients operation candidates.

A cancer that has actually the potential the invading adjacent tissues, dispersing to other organs (metastasizing) and also possibly leading to the patient"s death.

Normal, round, raisin come grape-sized collections of lymphocytes (white blood cells) found throughout the body. Lymph nodes are linked to each other by lymphatic vessels. Castle normally help fight infection, but also are among the an initial sites come which cancers spread. In general, the spread of cancer come lymph nodes portends a worse prognosis because that the patient. There are exceptions to this.

A painless technique for visualizing inner organs. A tube-like an equipment with a powerful magnet generates pictures of the inside of the body. It does not involve the use of Xrays.

The largest organ in the body, located in the right upper part of the abdomen. That performs numerous life-maintaining attributes including the manufacturing of bile. The liver detoxifies the blood the drugs, alcohol and other harmful chemicals. It procedures nutrients took in by the intestine and also stores essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Bilirubin is a chemical created when old or damaged blood cell breakdown. The liver chemically process the bilirubin so that it deserve to dissolve in water and be excreted through the urine. Once this procedure is disrupted, jaundice deserve to develop.

A primary pancreatic cancer that has actually spread to regional lymph nodes and/or resectable (removable) tissues. Removable tissues encompass some lymph nodes and parts the the duodenum and also stomach that are regularly removed in some surgical therapies for pancreatic cancer.

Yellowing of the skin or yellowing that the white skin - man of the eyes brought about by the build-up of bile pigments (usually due to an obstruction the the bile ducts).

A an approach that surgeons deserve to use to visualize and even biopsy (take tissue samples of) organs within of the abdomen there is no making big incisions. Very tiny incisions space made in the belly and little tubes (called trocars) are then inserted. Gas is pumped in through one of the pipe to produce enough space to work in. The operated doctor inserts a small camera through one of the tubes and examines the lining and contents that the ab cavity by looking in ~ the projected image on the television screen. V specially design laparascopic instruments, biopsies and also fluid samples can be taken because that examination. Some surgeons feel that this technique can assist "stage" a patient much less invasively 보다 with open surgery.

A term used to indicate that cancerous cell are present in the duct yet have no yet attacked deeper tissues.

A hormone created by the endocrine cells of the islets of Langerhans cell of the pancreas. Insulin acts to reduced blood sugar levels.

The widest part of the pancreas. It is found in the right part of abdomen, nestled in the curve the the duodenum, which creates an impression in the next of the pancreas.

A hormone produced by the endocrine (islets of Langerhans) cell of the pancreas. Once blood sugar levels room low, glucagon acts to raise blood sugar levels.

A chemotherapeutic drug typically used to treat pancreatic cancer.

A green pear-shaped organ located on the ideal side that the abdomen just under the liver. The gallbladder is basically a reservoir for holding bile.

Gemzar is the trade name for the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine. The is typically used to treat pancreatic cancer. It has been shown, in regulated clinical trials, to boost quality of life.

The exocrine cells (acinar cells) of the pancreas produce and transport chemicals the will leave the body v the cradle system.The chemicals that the exocrine cells create are dubbed enzymes. They room secreted in the duodenum wherein they aid in the cradle of food.

A chemistry that causes a reaction in other substances, in this instance as a component of the digestive process.

A test offered to visualize and also examine the pancreas and also bile ducts. A pipe is inserted through a patient"s nose (or throat), down through the esophagus and stomach then right into the little intestine (duodenum). There, a little probe is placed into the ampulla of Vater. A dye is injected through the probe and into the pancreatic and also bile ducts. X-rays space then taken to visualize the pancreatic and also bile ducts. This ducts have the right to be viewed as white structures (this is because the injected dye is opaque). Because pancreas cancers frequently block the pancreatic and/or bile ducts, this an approach can be valuable in creating a diagnosis of pancreas cancer.

Surgical removed of a framework or component of a structure. For example, pancreatectomy is the surgical removal of the kidneys (or a section of it).

These are devoted cells that develop hormones released into the bloodstream. Because that example, the islets of Langerhans space endocrine cell in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. This hormone helps regulate blood sugar(glucose) levels.Some rare tumors that the pancreas, the endocrine (Islet Cell) tumors, can produce these exact same hormones. It is an extremely important that these rare tumors be properly diagnosed due to the fact that it will determine the treatment and prognosis.

A medical doctor that specializes in the therapy of hormone abnormalities.

The an initial portion of the small intestine. That is around 1 foot long. That is the part of the minister track the comes ~ the stomach.

A dome shame muscle that separates the lungs and heart indigenous the abdomen. This muscle assists in breathing.

The chemistry in every cell that carries hereditary information.

A tiny anatomic structure. This is essentially a tube that carries various bodily fluids. The pancreatic duct operation the full length of the pancreas and also drains right into the duodenum.

The an illness in i beg your pardon the body is unable to accordingly control blood sugar (glucose) levels. This may be brought about by failure of the kidnize to produce adequate quantities of insulin.

A dye, bring away by mouth or injected, that is sometimes used during x-ray examinations to highlight areas that otherwise might not be seen.

A fluid filled sac. Part tumors the the pancreas, consisting of the serous cystadenomas and also intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, kind cysts. Cysts have a distinctive appearance in CT scans. They are vital to recognize since the treatment of cystic tumors can differ from the for hard tumors.

A small, versatile tube inserted into the human body to inject or suck the end fluids.

The therapy of a cancer by chemicals. Because that pancreatic cancer these include: Gemzar (Gemcitabine), 5-flurouracil, leukovorin, taxol, and also others.

A way to picture internal organs. A collection of x-ray pictures taken by a maker that encircles the body choose a huge tube. Computer systems are then supplied to create cross-sectional pictures of the within of the body.

A cancer-causing chemical. Tobacco smoke consists of a number of carcinogens.

A blood marker for pancreas cancer. The is no a good screening test because that diagnosing feasible pancreas cancers in people without symptoms. Instead, it deserve to be helpful in complying with the development of patients well-known to have a cancer by measuring how their cancer is responding to treatment.

A dramatic weight loss and general wasting that occurs throughout chronic disease.

A malignant tumor. It has the potential that invading right into the adjacent tissues, dispersing to various other organs and may eventually lead to the patient"s death.

The middle component of the pancreas in between the neck and also the tail. The superior mesenteric blood vessels operation behind this part of the gland.

A eco-friendly fluid developed by the liver the helps digest fats. The is transported indigenous the liver come the duodenum through the bile duct. When the circulation of bile is blocked, patient may come to be jaundiced (yellow skinned).

A duct that carries bile indigenous the liver come the intestine. This term might refer to the hepatic, cystic or common bile duct.

The removal and microscopic examination of a little tissue sample.

Tumors which are non-cancerous. These generally grow slowly and do not invade adjacent organs or spread out (metastasize) beyond the pancreas.

A radiographic technique used to visualize blood vessels. A contrast medium (a dye) is commonly injected right into the vessels to do them show up white top top the x-rays.

The large artery the carries oxygen-rich blood indigenous the heart. Native the love it arcs backwards and descends right into the abdomen where it provides off countless branches to it is provided the organs. The exceptional mesenteric artery is a significant branch that the aorta that deserve to be affiliated by pancreatic cancer.

The arsenal of excess quantities of fluid in the abdominal muscle cavity (belly). It regularly is a sign that the cancer has actually spread to one of two people the liver or to the portal vein that goes come the liver, or the the cancer entails the interior lining the the abdomen. If regular liver duty is affected, a complicated set the biochemical checks and also balances is disrupted and also abnormal amounts of liquid are retained.

A operation joining of 2 hollow structures. The is similar to attaching two ends the a garden hose. Because that example, a gastrojejunostomy is a operation procedure that connects the stomach and also the jejunum (small intestine.)

A condition identified by a deficiency in red blood cells. This deserve to lead to fatigue among other symptoms.

A condition significant by a decreased apetite and also aversion come food. Often results in physical signs of wasting.

Chemotherapy provided to patients after your cancers have been surgically removed. The is a an additional treatment offered to complement surgical treatment. (see Neoadjuvant chemotherapy i beg your pardon is chemotherapy offered before surgery)

This widening of the pancreatic duct together it get the duodenum is an landmark because that physicians. It is where the bile duct and pancreatic duct join prior to draining right into the duodenum (small intestine). Tumors in the head that the pancreas might squeeze this duct partly or fully closed. This deserve to lead to troubles with digestion and jaundice.

A bright (non-cancerous) tumor consisted of of cells that kind glands (collections the cells bordering an empty space).

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The kind of cancer the most people are talking about when they refer to "cancer the the pancreas." this tumors account because that 75% of all pancreas cancers.Microscopically, adenocarcinomas form glands. This tumors can grow huge enough to invade nerves which deserve to cause ago pain. They additionally frequently spread (metastasize) come the liver or lymph nodes. If this wake up the tumor may be considered unresectable.