Honoring November as Pancreatic and Stomach Cancer Awareness Month
November marks the month for pancreatic and stomach cancer awareness. Raising awareness is one of the single most important things we can do to save lives and fight for cures. Whether you or a loved one has dealt with one of these two cancers, it is easy to see the hardships one goes through when dealing with the disease. Highlighting these cancers during November is one of the most effective ways to honor those who have had these diseases and the best way to spark hope for the future. The more people know, the better our treatments can become.
Each year, around 3% of cancers diagnosed in the United States are pancreatic cancer and this number is rising. Symptoms include jaundice, back or stomach pain, depression, and digestive problems. The most significant factor in determining pancreatic cancer is tobacco use. Those who smoke are twice as likely to develop this cancer in comparison to those who do not smoke. Other factors include:
- Overweight or obese lifestyles
- Workplace chemicals
- Older age
- Gender (men are 30% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than women though this gap is decreasing as more women have been diagnosed in recent years. The difference is 22% for 2017.)
- Family history
- Previous medical conditions
Stomach cancer was once the leading cause of cancer deaths until the 1930s. Refrigeration and antibiotics have dramatically reduced the number of stomach cancer cases, but it is still a widespread disease and the most common cancer outside of the United States. Symptoms of stomach cancer include stomach pain, feeling full after small meals, swelling in the abdomen, nausea, and heartburn. There are specific factors that contribute to stomach cancer:
- Smoking and tobacco
- Gender and age (stomach cancer is more common in men than women, and more common with old age)
- Having type A blood
- Certain genetic conditions
- A diet of smoked, salted, and/or pickled foods
- Family history
There are many compelling ways to spread the word about pancreatic and stomach cancer this November. Contributing to a local non-profit will raise funds towards a cure. Wearing a ribbon will promote awareness across your community. Participating in an awareness walk can share your passion with those who would not otherwise be knowledgeable about these cancers. No matter the way, November is the best month to highlight and promote pancreatic and stomach cancer awareness.
If you or someone you know suffers from stomach or pancreatic cancer, let the professionals at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants help. Whether it be assistance with a diagnosis, working through a treatment plan, or seeking answers to questions you have, Texas Digestive Disease Consultants can make your life with cancer easier to handle. For more information, visit our website at https://www.tddctx.com/.
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