This pancreatic cancer FAQ should answer many of the questions that you may have about pancreatic cancer.

Q: What is pancreatic cancer?

A: Pancreatic cancer is the growth of a tumor that originates in the pancreas. The cancer cells may then spread to the lymph nodes and the surrounding organs, blood vessels, and nerves.

Q: What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

A: Pancreatic cancer symptoms often don’t appear until the later stages of the cancer, however, some people will experience, weight loss, jaundice, abdominal pain, and digestive problems during the earlier stages.

Q: Is pancreatitis the same as pancreatic cancer?

A: No. Chronic pancreatitis can have many of the same symptoms as pancreatic cancer, but pancreatitis will not spread to other organs in the same way that pancreatic cancer will.

Q: What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?

A: Pancreatitis shares many of the same symptoms with cancer of the pancreas. The main pancreatitis symptoms are pain, weight loss, and fatigue. Alcohol and food consumption normally worsen pancreatitis pain.

Q: What is the difference between chronic pancreatitis and normal pancreatitis?

A: Patients who have chronic pancreatitis symptoms normally experience those symptoms for the rest of their life in some form. In some cases, pancreatitis is not chronic, although most cases are.

Q: What is the difference between chronic pancreatitis and normal pancreatitis?

A: Patients who have chronic pancreatitis symptoms normally experience those symptoms for the rest of their life in some form. In some cases, pancreatitis is not chronic, although most cases are.

Q: What should I do if I experience pain in the area of my pancreas?

A: If you experience pancreas pain, consult with a doctor. Many times, a doctor will be able to perform a simple test to determine if you might have pancreatic cancer. The results from this test will determine if further examination is needed.

Q: Is there a condition known as pancreatitis cancer?

A: No. Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer are two different conditions that are not normally linked, other than that they both originate in the pancreas.

Q: What are the symptoms pancreatic cancer patients fear the most?

A: All of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are unwanted, but many patients fear pain the most. Pancreatic pain can be particularly debilitating because of its central location in the body.

Q: Are there early warning signs of pancreas cancer that I can watch out for?

A: There are few early warning signs of pancreatic cancer. If you believe that you may be susceptible to cancer of the pancreas, the be sure to keep a lookout for weight loss, abdominal pain, and jaundice.

Q: What are the pancreatic cancer stages?

A: The stages of cancer of the pancreas progress from 0 to 4. During each stage, the cancer advances to a new area of the pancreas. During stage 3 and stage 4, the cancer most likely has moved outside of the pancreas.

Q: What is the survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer?

A: the pancreatic cancer survival rate is low because so few patients, less than 10%, are diagnosed when surgery is still an option.

Q: Is the pancreatic cancer prognosis good for patients who are diagnosed during the early stages?

A: Patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early have a much better chance of surviving, however, many of the surgical procedures designed to removed pancreatic cancer are invasive and require long recovery periods.

Q: Have doctors figured out what the pancreatic cancer causes are?

A: No. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer causes remain a mystery. Although there are some risk factors, including diet and genetics that can contribute to the likelihood of develop pancreatic cancer, there is no known cure.

Q: How do doctors locate cancer in the pancreas?

A: Doctors have the ability to look inside the body through a number of different ways. Several different scans are available that let doctors see inside the body, as well as scopes that can be inserted through the mouth or through a small incision in the abdomen.

Q: Once diagnosed, what are the pancreatic cancer treatments?

A: If caught in the early stages, pancreatic cancer treatments include surgery, as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatments. If caught in the later stages, then only chemotherapy and radiation are an option.

Q: Do pancreatic cancer treatments have side effects?

A: Yes, all cancer treatments carry side effects. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments for pancreatic cancer can be particularly debilitating. Side effects include nausea and weakness, but usually only last for a few weeks.