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Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer does not cause symptoms in its earliest stages. By the time symptoms are noted, the disease has already been growing for some time. Furthermore, the initial symptoms of pancreatic cancer tend to be rather vague, so patients often ignore them for a certain length of time, allowing the disease to continue growing and spreading. By the time the symptoms are obvious enough to alert the patient and the doctor of a problem, the disease has often advanced and spread outside of the pancreas.
If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to cancer. Most of these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your doctor.
Detailed guide: pancreatic cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/ . Accessed April 8, 2009.
DiMagno E. Pancreatic carcinoma. In: Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000: 750-752.
Freelove R, Walling AD. Pancreatic cancer: diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73:485-492.
What you need to know about cancer of the pancreas. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/pancreas#2 . Accessed April 8, 2009.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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