Learning About Pancreatic Cancer

YouTube is an incredible resource for information of all kinds, including information on pancreatic cancer. Here is a short video explaining how a pancreatic tumor affects the process of digestion, and produces symptoms that could be related to a whole host of digestive ills.

Symptoms Are Subtle

Back in the 80’s we were out riding ATVs on the Oregon dunes. Mom rolled her ATV and the handlebars hit her squarely in her midsection. She had broken ribs and had caused trauma to her internal organs, including the pancreas.

Inflammation of the pancreas became a chronic problem and a benign cyst was removed from the organ a few years later. Inflammation continued in that area and that is what doctors now thing led to her cancer.

Symptoms of back and midsection pain had become so frequent that they were often ignored. Waiting for symptoms to pass on their own in a few days was the norm, as was the nausea that sometimes accompanied the pain. Constant fatigue had also become normal over the course of years due to many other health issues, thus ignored when it became more frequent.

Something that we’ve learned is also a clue to pancreatic cancer is blood clots. ┬áMom had blood clots following her hip fracture and subsequent surgery, but no one connected it to her cancer until it was diagnosed.

Yesterday my sister saw Mom for the first time in over a year. She said “…you don’t look sick.” That’s true. She doesn’t look sick, and that’s the tough part about pancreatic cancer. By the time you look sick, you’re at Stage IV and they can’t help you.