Need to Know about Pancreatic Cancer
ITHACA, N.Y.(WENY)--This week, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced he has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, leaving many people shocked. Pancreatic cancer can be more difficult to detect than other forms of cancer but there are a few warning signs.
"There's several different things that people often times present with pancreatic cancer. They're most commonly weight loss, abdominal pain, or developing jaundice," says Charles Garbo MD, Oncologist at Cayuga Medical Associates.
Unfortunately, these warning signs can come at any time, but more commonly once the cancer has reached later stages. Dr. Charles Garbo told WENY a person's genetic makeup is one of the most common causes of pancreatic cancer.
"About five percent to 20 percent of folks who get pancreatic cancer actually do have some type of familial syndrome, some type of genetic syndrome that leads to their having a higher risk for having pancreatic and sometimes other cancers," says Dr. Garbo.
This disease can just come on randomly. A few unhealthy activities can also increase the risk of this form of cancer.
"If you're not one who has a genetic cause for pancreatic cancer, there are some increased risks, but a little bit more with smoking, a little more with alcohol, but mostly it's just an unfortunate disease that happens without anything the patients done to make themselves be at higher risk," says Dr. Garbo.
Dr. Garbo also says most people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are eventually going to die from it. There are those who live more prolonged lives than others, but a cure has not yet been found.