Common Misconceptions About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is often poorly misunderstood, and because of this, people may become misinformed about this disease. Here are some of the most common misconceptions related to pancreatic cancer that you need to know about.

It’s always terminal

While it’s true that pancreatic cancer doesn’t have one of the best outlooks of all the cancers, it doesn’t necessarily mean a terminal diagnosis is always inevitable. The problem is, that many of the symptoms can be quite vague, which makes it harder to pick up early. But, being aware of the symptoms can help to lead to an earlier diagnosis and, therefore, a wider range of treatment options.

It only affects men

There’s a common belief that pancreatic cancer is a condition that tends to affect men, but it affects both males and females pretty much equally. In fact, according to Pancreatic Cancer Action, men have a 1 in 73 chance of contracting this type of cancer in their lifetimes, while for women the risk is only marginally lower at 1 in 74.

Pancreatic cancer progresses rapidly

Because pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis, many people wrongly assume that it’s a disease that progresses rapidly. Actually, this isn’t the case. Pancreatic cancer can take a number of years to develop and around two years for it to spread to other organs. The problem is that by the time symptoms are noticeable, it may well have advanced into serious disease.

It only affects older people

included, but it’s not necessarily the case that it only affects older people. Younger people can also be diagnosed, too. There are other factors that can also influence the risk of getting pancreatic cancer, and, according to the NHS, many pancreatic cancers are linked to lifestyle choices, such as being overweight, smoking, and having a poor diet.

Having pancreatic surgery will cause cancer to spread

Despite what many people think, exposing cancer to air during pancreatic surgery will not cause cancer to spread elsewhere throughout the body. On the other hand, surgery can actually prevent the disease from spreading. Where cancer does spread post-surgery, this will probably be due to tiny tumour cells already present in other parts of the body.

Contact the experts

Whether you have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or have worrying symptoms you’d like to have investigated, being given the correct information from experts, including relevant treatment options, is key. Contact our specialists today for more advice.