Posted by: Kelley Dees | November 30, 2010

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it is a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until it is quite advanced and surgical removal isn’t possible.

Because the onset and spread of this disease is so rapid, you should see a doctor at the first sign of symptoms. These include:

  • Upper abdominal pain that may radiate to your back
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (also known as jaundice)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Depression
  • Blood clots

Many diseases and conditions other than cancer may cause similar signs and symptoms, so your doctor may check for these conditions as well as pancreatic cancer.

What are some risk factors?

  • Increasing age, especially over age 60
  • Being African-American
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of genetic syndromes that can increase cancer risk, including a BRCA2 gene mutation, Peutz-Jehgers syndrome, Lynch syndrome and familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma (FAMMM)
  • Personal or family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Smoking

Pancreatic cancer is a quick and deadly disease. While catching it early is no guarantee of survival, the sooner it is discovered, the sooner you can begin the fight!

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from the Mayo Clinic.



  1. Apart from the symptoms previously mentioned, some people moreover experience the subsequent. Indeed depression might be a severe difficulty that really should not be taken with a pinch of salt irrespective of age or gender. You should so be aware of the early warning signs of depression so as to hunt assistance immediately.

    • Very true Audrey! Wyoming consistently has the highest suicide rate in the country, which is why we try to focus on mental health, as well as physical health. Also, farmers & ranchers commit suicide at twice the rate of the rest of the population…very important information that those working with agricultural workers NEED to know!

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