Two New Symptoms That Could Point to Pancreatic Cancer

By Robert Preidt
Health Day reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Researchers have identified two previously unrecognized symptoms of pancreatic cancer – a finding that could help earlier detection and improve extremely low survival rates, they say.

“When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed earlier, patients have a better chance of survival. It is possible to diagnose patients when they see their GP, but patients and GPs should be aware of the symptoms associated with cancer. pancreas, ”said study author Weiqi. Liao, data scientist at the British University of Oxford.

In addition to confirming 21 previously identified signs of pancreatic cancer, the new study highlights two new symptoms – feeling thirsty and dark urine – associated with the deadly disease.

It also shows that patients often have certain symptoms of the disease up to a year before their diagnosis, and other significant symptoms three months before diagnosis.

Most pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage and the disease has the lowest survival rate among all common cancers. In the United States, the five-year survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer is about 10%, according to the American Cancer Society.

The study included more than 24,000 patients who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in England between 2000 and 2017.

Yellowing of the skin (jaundice) and bleeding in the stomach or intestines were the two serious symptoms most associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common type of pancreatic cancer, and neoplasms pancreatic neuroendocrine (PNEN), a rarer form of pancreatic cancer. Cancer.

The two newly identified symptoms – thirst and dark urine – were associated with PDAC, according to the study. The results were presented virtually Monday at a meeting of the UK’s National Cancer Research Institute.

Other symptoms related to PDAC include: swallowing problems, diarrhea, change in bowel habits, vomiting, indigestion, abdominal mass, abdominal pain, weight loss, constipation, fat in stool, abdominal swelling, nausea, gas, heartburn. stomach, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, itching and back pain.

Other symptoms associated with PNEN include: diarrhea, change in bowel habits, vomiting, indigestion, abdominal mass, abdominal pain, and weight loss.

“These new findings allow us to continue work on understanding symptoms that could suggest pancreatic cancer. This will help general practitioners make decisions about who to refer for urgent testing, especially when patients have multiple symptoms that seemingly not. specific, “Liao said in a statement. institute press release.

Studies presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more information on pancreatic cancer.

SOURCE: National Cancer Research Institute, press release, November 8, 2021

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