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Pancreatic Cancer

Fig.1 Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma makes up around 85% of pancreatic cancers cases. The cancer starts within the part of the pancreas where produce digestive enzymes. Signs and symptoms of the most common form of pancreatic cancer may include yellow skin, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, back pain, light-colored stools and dark urine. There are normally no symptoms in the early stages of the diseases, and symptoms that are specific enough to suggest pancreatic cancer typically do not develop until the disease has reached the late stage. By the time of diagnosis, pancreatic cancer has often spread to other sites of the body. Pancreatic cancer rarely occurs before the age of 40, and more than half of cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma occur in those who are over 70. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include obesity, tobacco smoking, diabetes, and certain rare genetic conditions. CA19-9 (carbohydrate antigen 19.9) is a tumor marker that is frequently elevated in pancreatic cancer.