Did you know: pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the UK and more than 10 500 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. That is around 29 mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, colleagues or friends diagnosed every day.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM) and we at Visiting Angels have created an informational guide to raise awareness, provide information, help individuals suffering, remember loved ones who have died of pancreatic cancer and acknowledge those living with or beyond the disease.

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer develops when cancer cells in the pancreas grow and multiply out of control, forming a lump. There are different types of pancreatic cancer: pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the most common type. Neuroendocrine tumours are less common.

Read more about the different types of pancreatic cancer on the Pancreatic Cancer UK website. Click here

Signs and Symptoms 

Did you know that: pancreatic cancer affects both men and women in the same way?

The symptoms are not visible in the early stages. Common symptoms include stomach aches or back pain, weight loss, indigestion, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes and itchy skin), losing your appetite, blood clots, fatigue, feeling, or being sick.

Read more about the symptoms here:

How is Pancreatic Cancer diagnosed?

Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to diagnose and this is because the symptoms in the early stages are vague. If you do have the symptoms, it would be good to give your GP a good description of your symptoms, including any changes to your bowel habits.

After gaining an understanding of your symptoms, your GP may refer you for tests at the hospital to work out what is causing your symptoms.

Tests For Pancreatic Cancer

You will have several tests that will be able to diagnose pancreatic cancer but you would need to have more tests to find out exactly what type of pancreatic cancer you have and what stage it is. The tests used to diagnose pancreatic cancer include:

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound of stomach area
  • A CT (computerised tomography) scan
  • MRI
  • Endoscopic ultrasound scan
  • A biopsy
  • PET – CT scan (positron emission tomography)
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatography)
  • MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangio pancreatography)
  • A laparoscopy

Click here to read more about the tests for Pancreatic Cancer

Caring for a loved one who’s been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer

Coming to terms with a serious condition such as cancer can be one of the toughest things an individual can face in life. Dealing with cancer alone should never be an option, you should always have some support; whether it is support from a caring family member, an organisation such as Macmillan or Cancer Research , local district nurses, local hospices or you can have a conversation with a member of our team.

We offer plenty of help and support at home to individuals suffering with pancreatic cancer.

Read our cancer home care blog here