Pancreatic cancer is a kind of cancer that starts in the pancreas, a small, pear-shaped organ that secretes hormones, like insulin. It is vital for processing sugars and also secretes some of the substances needed to digest foods. It’s a particularly deadly kind of cancer because it is often not discovered until it reaches later stages. Unfortunately, a recent report indicates that the rate at which pancreatic cancer occurs is on the rise, and experts think it could be because of obesity.
Pancreatic Cancer and Obesity
According to the new report, the rate of pancreatic cancer deaths has gone up by 10 percent around the world between 1990 and 2017. The report used data collected from 195 countries. The data showed a 135 percent increase in overall cases of pancreatic cancer. There were 195,000 cases in 1990 and 448,000 in 2017.
Experts say that some of the increase is due to a rise in population. In addition, people are living longer, which increases the risk of getting pancreatic cancer. However, even after accounting for those kinds of factors, there was still a 12 percent increase in cases and a 10 percent increase in deaths.
Experts speculate that the rise in pancreatic cancer may have something to do with obesity, which is also on the rise. Obesity is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, so as more people are obese, more people also get pancreatic cancer.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Though obesity is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, your aging relative does not have to be obese to get it. The earlier pancreatic cancer is caught, the more likely it is that treatment will have a successful outcome. Knowing the symptoms of the disease may help with an earlier diagnosis. Some of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are:
- Pain: Pain may occur in the upper part of the abdomen and spread into the back. This occurs because the spreading cancer pushes against nerves and organs near the pancreas.
- Weight Loss: People with pancreatic cancer often experience a loss of appetite, so they may lose weight without meaning to.
- Increased Thirst or Hunger: Pancreatic cancer can cause new onset of diabetes. Excessive thirst and hunger are both symptoms of diabetes.
- Fatigue: Cancer can cause older adults to feel very tired, lacking the energy to do the things they normally do.
If your aging relative is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a senior care provider can assist them during treatment and afterward. A senior care provider can drive the older adult to treatment appointments, such as chemotherapy or radiation. They can also bring the senior back home and stay with them to ensure they are comfortable and have what they need. Senior care providers can also remind the older adult to take medications prescribed by the doctor to manage symptoms.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Scarsdale, NY please contact the caring staff at JANCARE Private Health Services, Inc. today at (845) 896-5300.