Cysts Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer is one type of cancer that is very hard to diagnose and treat. This is usually because the symptoms associated with the disease are common and not specifically related to pancreatic cancer. If you are suffering from a few pancreatic cancer symptoms it is likely that your doctor will refer you to a specialist or hospital for tests. This is why it is so important to understand the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer to increase your chance of a successful diagnosis.

What are Pancreatic Cysts?

Pancreatic cysts are pools of fluid located in the tail, body or head of the pancreas.  They vary in size and can be anything from a few millimetres to several centimetres big.  Most cysts found in the pancreas are benign and will display no symptoms however some are pre-cancerous and have the possibility to turn into cancer if left untreated. 

How do Cysts relate to Pancreatic Cancer?

Most cysts in the pancreas are called pseudocysts.  These are benign and have very little symptoms.  However some pancreatic cysts will cause abdominal pain and these are more likely to be pre-cancerous.  If pre-cancerous cysts in the pancreas turn into cancerous cells then they can directly cause pancreatic cancer.  If your doctor suspects you have pancreatic cysts he will remove a small amount of fluid to test for cancer cells.  If caught early enough these can be removed and prevent cancer from occurring.

What are Cysts Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms?

Cysts pancreatic cancer symptoms depend on the size and type of the cyst concerned.  Small cysts usually do not have any symptoms however cysts that are larger (over 2cm) in size can cause back pain and abdominal pain due to them pressing on the surrounding nerves and tissues.  Other cysts pancreatic cancer symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A mass that can be felt in the upper abdomen
  • Large cysts that are located in the pancreas head can also cause jaundice if they obstruct the bile duct

Further Information about Cysts Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

No-one knows exactly what causes cysts pancreatic cancer symptoms to occur although most doctors generally agree that the cancerous variety are caused by genetic mutations.  If you are suffering from cysts pancreatic cancer symptoms your doctor will refer you to a gastroenterologist (digestive disease specialist) for further tests.

Although you cannot prevent pancreatic cysts, doctors do agree that the people who are more likely to suffer from them are people who suffer from pancreatitis – this can be caused by gallstones or heavy alcohol consumption.  To reduce your chances of suffering from pancreatic cysts you can either opt to have your gall bladder removed or dramatically cut down your intake of alcohol.

Pancreatic cancer has a poor success rate after diagnosis but this is usually due to it only being diagnosed when it is in an advanced stage.  By understanding the symptoms related to the disease and speaking to your doctor as soon as you recognise them, you are likely to have a better chance of survival.

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