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warning signs of pancreatic cancer

Updated on December 29, 2012

The silent killer

I was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer in July of 2010 and it was quite a shock because honestly I did not have any major ailments to speak of. The biggest danger of pancreatic cancer is it really can be a silent killer with virtually little to no symptoms being reported until it has spread through out the body.

I was working two jobs at the time and associated the issues I was having with just working too much, I had back pain, a little trouble with nausea and fatigue, it wasn't until I started getting really sick and not holding down food and my skin turned yellow that I went to see my doctor.

When I went to my doctors office I immediately knew I was in for some trouble when the RN took one look at me said she would be right back and returned with my doctor. He thought I was had a gall stone blocking my bile duct and sent me for an sonogram to confirm it. I then had an ecrp scoping at a Boston hospital and they discovered I had a tumor on the head of my pancreas blocking the bile duct shut.

The crazy part of all this is I would have had no idea if the tumor did not start causing trouble with my gall bladder, my surgeon in Boston told if it grew a quarter inch higher or lower we would have never discovered it.

Yellow is the color

In my case because of the tumors location I went jaundice and my eyes went bright yellow like Michael Jackson in his video for thriller,a co worker looked at me and told me get to the doctor your eyes are not right! I am glad I listened.

This was the only strong sign I had and that's what blows me away, I had a Whipple procedure to remove the tumor and they discovered it already had four more small tumors on my liver. Pancreatic cancer was setting up shop and I had no signs of danger except what felt like working too many hours.

Here's the real scary part in a recent study from the American Cancer Society they estimate that in 2012 the United States will see :

  • About 43,920 new cases of pancreatic cancer
  • About 37,390 deaths from pancreatic cancer
  • leaving 6530 people continuing their fight

Cancer and the right attitude

I have always heard the saying "attitude is everything" and I really did not fully understand it until I had the Whipple done,I tried my best to be positive and fight fight fight but I have to be honest there was times that I just wanted to lay in bed and do nothing at all. The big risk here is doing nothing is way to easy to follow and can become your normal all too fast,if you do have to fight cancer or any tough problem I highly recommend a constant assault at least you feel like your doing something about the problem.

Some helpful Ideas

The best advice I can personally give you is simply if you do not feel well get to the doctor and be adamant they figure out whats wrong with you,too many doctors are quick to label any illness the flu or a virus and leave it at that.

I know of several people who had major stomach pain and they went to their doctor and they were told nothing was wrong with them. Well it turns out they had stomach cancer and by the time their doctor decided to do something it was to late.

Personally I think Our health care system is set on damage control to lower their costs and this is why doctors are less likely to investigate problems patients their complain they are experiencing. When you think about it really just how quick have your office visits become lately? I think a lot of people wait longer to see the doctor then their visit actually is.

The simple fact I wanted to convey with this hub is Pancreatic cancer strikes without warning so you need to be cautious and follow up on anything suspicious concerning your health.

Preventing cancer


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