The human body is a tricky thing. It’s simultaneously a marvel of nature’s evolution and, at the same time, can become a susceptible to a host of injuries and illnesses. The pancreas and liver alone is a highly complex part of the human body and is necessary for the proper digestion of food — unfortunately, pancreas cancer is also one of the most common sources of cancer in the United States. This form of cancer can affect both men and women and is particularly common in those above the age of 40 or 50. If you are interested in learning more about this illness and its symptoms, keep reading below to learn about the rate of pancreatic cancer, its side-effects and its methods of treatment in the United States.
How Many People Have Pancreas Cancer?
Ongoing studies have been conducted over the past several years to study the rate at which Americans are struggling with their pancreas. It’s been found more than 20,000 people in the country die every year from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis both. According to the American Liver Foundation there were at least 16,000 patients on the national waiting list for treatment just a few years ago. According to the American Cancer Society, all stages of pancreatic cancer combined sees a one-year relative survival rate at around 20%. Compare this to the five-year survival rate, which is at around 6% on average.
What Is The Pancreas?
This small organ lays in your stomach, close to both your liver and gallblader. It’s responsible for both helping with day-to-day digestion as well as secreting hormones throughout your life. Anywhere from 20% to 30% of liver transplants are in patients struggling with hepatocellular carcinoma — this form of surgery is easily considered the best outlook, with 75 in 100 people surviving for five years or more after the procedure. Tumor size has been shown to directly impact survival rates, with the larger the tumor the less likely it is able to be cured by resection. However, even the largest tumors are able to be removed . Some patients with tumors greater than four to five centimeters still showed significant improvement.
What Are Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is the eighth most common form of cancer in women as well as the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be difficult to detect in its earliest stages, however, the sooner it’s found the easier any and all tumors can be surgically removed — the five-year survival rate after early surgical removal is 26%, while regional spreading can reduce this to 10%. The American Cancer Society has estimated there will be over 95,000 new cases of colon cancer as well as 39,000 new cases of rectal cancer throughout the year 2016. Excluding various skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed by doctors.
What Are My Risks?
Although pancreatic or colon cancer can affect anyone, there are a few commonalities in its appearance. It is most likely to affect those who are older, between the ages of 40 and 60, as well as women. Early symptoms are very difficult to check, but later symptoms can include lower back pain, weight loss, dark urine, constant nausea and fatigue. If you’re not sure whether or not these apply to you, it’s imperative you visit a doctor.
How Can I Be Diagnosed?
While reading about symptoms and illness rates is a good start on becoming more aware, the skillset of a liver surgeon or general doctor will help you know your situation better. A doctor can analyze you and assess whether or not you have a risk of pancreatic cancer — if it’s determined you show signs of the illness, the next step is to learn about liver surgery and pancreas surgery. Each individual is unique and will have a different path to take on the way to recovery. Consider visiting your clinic or regular doctor today and see if you are at risk for pancreatic or liver cancer today.