“My mother passed away today after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only five months ago”. Unfortunately, this statement rings all too true for some individuals who lose loved ones suddenly to the “Silent disease”. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are not specific enough to enable early diagnosis. Some complain about abdominal pain that radiates towards the back. Yellowing of the eyes, or jaundice, is another common symptom. However, this occurs when a damaged liver can no longer function properly as a result of cancerous growth.
Now you would think that pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease that develops and becomes deadly within a short period of time, wouldn’t you?
Some suggest that the answer may be no.
In fact, researchers from John Hopkins suggest that it takes a decade for cancer of the pancreas to become metastatic! According to them, mutant cells grow slowly over a long period before the cancer becomes lethal. This leaves a huge window of opportunity to detect and remove malignant growth at a stage when surgery would still be effective. There may be no current therapy for the slow and silent disease but if techniques to spot abnormalities are in place less people would experience the loss of a loved one to pancreatic cancer.