November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and as a healthcare company we feel it is important to share information regarding this aggressive cancer. Early detection can be a life saver for this disease and monitoring your health for symptoms is crucial.
Taken from pancan.org, here are some statistics showing the seriousness of pancreatic cancer.
- Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and is anticipated to become the second by 2020.
- Pancreatic cancer is one of the nation's deadliest cancers with a five-year relative survival rate of just 6 percent.
- Risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include family history of the disease, age, chronic or hereditary pancreatitis, smoking, obesity, and long-standing diabetes.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be very general and mimic other gastrointestinal conditions. Symptoms may include:
- pain (usually abdominal or back pain)
- weight loss
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- loss of appetite
- changes in stool
Unfortunately, no research has shown what can be done to prevent pancreatic cancer, but there are some things that could possibly reduce your risk.
Maintain a Healthy Weight - Obese people have a 20% increased risk of developing the disease compared to people who are of normal weight. To determine a healthy weight, one should strive for a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 20 and 25.
Limit Alcohol Usage - Studies have shown that for non-smokers, there was a 36% higher risk of pancreatic cancer death among men and women who drank 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day, compared to those who never drink.
Quit Smoking - Smoking is a significant risk factor and smokers are 2 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than people who do not smoke.
To learn more about pancreatic cancer and how you can help with fundraising or volunteering, visit www.pancan.org. #PancreaticCancer