Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month takes place in November. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 53,000 men and women will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. Around 43,000 will die from the disease. Five-year survival rates range from 1 percent for the most advanced stage to 14 percent for the early stage.
The age range for most pancreatic cancer diagnoses is 65 to 74. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and keep an eye on your parent. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better the odds of survival. With any stage, surgery seems to lead to the better outcomes.
Understanding the Stages
There are several stages when it comes to pancreatic cancer. You start with TX and T0 where the tumor cannot be assessed or there’s no evidence of one.
Tis occurs when the tumor is in the very first layers of the duct cells on the pancreas. It’s rare for doctors to find the cancer at this stage. After this, you reach T1 where the cancer is now less than an inch in size and is within the pancreas. T2 finds the tumor has grown to larger than an inch, but it still is within the pancreas.
By the time the tumor is at the T3 stage, the tumor is now spreading outside the pancreas. If it reaches T4, it has extended into the blood vessels and nerves outside of the pancreas.
Ideally, getting the tumor before it spreads beyond the pancreas is ideal. Once it’s outside and spreading to other areas, the tumor is harder to completely remove. If it’s spread to other organs, any surgical procedure is to reduce discomfort rather than try to get rid of the cancerous tumor.
The earlier stages of pancreatic cancer rarely have symptoms you’ll readily notice. As the cancer progresses, jaundice of the skin and eyes may become noticeable. This is usually the first sign. Along with jaundice, you might notice dark yellow to brown urine.
Pain in the abdomen or lower back is another sign. Your appetite often decreases and weight loss sets in. In some people, nausea and vomiting also occur.
The liver can become enlarged. Another issue is the development of blood clots in the legs known commonly as deep vein thrombosis. If any of these symptoms are experienced, you should seek medical assessment as soon as possible.
Treatment Plans After Diagnosis
The best treatment plan is to remove the tumor. Your mom or dad will need help with senior care after a surgery. Your parent needs help with housework and laundry. It’s likely that he or she will need someone
to cook meals. While the appetite might diminish, it’s important to keep strength up.
Caregivers handle all of the care your parent needs after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Learn more by calling a senior care agency and asking about services and prices.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Senior Care in Redington Beach, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.