Stomach Pain Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer is an incredibly aggressive form of cancer that kills around 90% of those diagnosed. In the United Kingdom last year, around 8,300 people were diagnosed and around 7,800 died of the disease, many of those being part of the newly diagnosed. Generally, an outlook of one year to live is given when pancreatic cancer is first diagnosed and on average, survival is only around seven months. Pancreatic cancer is very hard to detect, and is usually terminal even if detected early.

Furthermore, due to the location of the pancreas, surgery can be very difficult.  Treatment for pancreatic cancer generally consists of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  However, due to these treatments only being possible in those who are in reasonable health and most pancreatic cancer cases being in the over 60’s it is very rare for any of these treatments to be available.

What is Stomach Pain?

Stomach pain is a discomfort in the abdominal area that can radiate to the back and below the shoulder blades.  There are many reasons for stomach pains, including bacteria, trapped wind, heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea and much more.  Stomach pain can vary from mild to severe and can be very debilitating.

How does Stomach Pain relate to Pancreatic Cancer?

Stomach pain occurs in around 75% of all those who suffer from pancreatic cancer and is often one of the first symptoms to occur.  It is often confused for trapped wind or bloating, particularly since it seems to be worse when lying flat on your back, but better when bending forward.  Stomach pain pancreatic cancer symptoms are usually caused by the tumour growing to a size where it is big enough to push against the nerves and organs surrounding it.  Stomach pain in pancreatic cancer is also very common during the recovery period after surgery.

What are the Stomach Pain Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms?

Stomach pain pancreatic cancer symptoms generally manifest themselves as abdominal pain that is worse when lying down on your back, but is relieved when bending forward.  It can also be made worse after eating certain foods.

Further Information about Stomach Pain Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Stomach pain pancreatic cancer symptoms will generally be treated with strong opiate based medication that is generally very effective if taken regularly and at a correct dosage.  However, a common side effect of taking these painkillers is constipation, so laxatives will generally be prescribed in conjunction. 

If the stomach pain pancreatic cancer symptoms are not alleviated by pain medication, a medical professional may consider prescribing celiac nerve blockers.  This involves having an alcohol solution injected in the nerves near the pancreas.  This can be done through an endoscopic procedure, whereby a tube is fed through the mouth of a patient, or through keyhole surgery.

If you do experience stomach pain pancreatic cancer symptoms, do not suffer in silence and seek medical help.  Usually, pain medication, sometimes opiate based such as morphine, will give great relief.  If this does not work, it generally means that the cancer is reaching more advanced stages and nerve blockers will then be considered.

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