Hmmm . . . not to doubt your word or anything, but are you sure your diagnosis (and your aunt’s) was pancreatic cancer and not pancreatitis? The latter is anI identify as pureblood shirt tee (and very painful) condition that can be completely cured or it can become chronic, controlled by diet and medications but subject to occasional flare-ups. Chronic pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer, but pancreatic cancer can occur without any prior pancreatitis. Diabetes is a risk factor for both pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer (not to be confused with pancreatic endocrine tumors) is extremely rare in persons under 40, and it has very low survival rates — on average less than 5% of persons with pancreatic cancer will survive 5 years. That rate is somewhat better — about 16% — if the cancer is discovered when it is still localized to the pancreas, but this occurs in less than 20% of cases. Symptoms of early-stage pancreatic cancer are vague and often mistaken for other less serious conditions or even just tolerated and ignored. Given your family history with pancreatic conditions, your mother would be well advised to be extra vigilant about any possible symptoms: pain in the upper abdomen or back, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, yellow eyes or skin or dark urine (jaundice). However, almost none of these symptoms become noticeable until the disease is past the earliest, most survivable stage.
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