Health experts urge people to watch for warning signs of pancreatic cancer

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Over the weekend we received the news that game show host, Alex Trebek passed away after his battle with cancer. Millions of Americans watched him on television as the host of the hit show Jeopardy! which began first aired in 1984.

In March of 2019, Trebek delivered sad news to his fans when he announced to the world that he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

According to the CDC, stage four of the disease is generally terminal because the disease’s symptoms are could be difficult to spot in the early stages, leading people to get diagnosed while it’s in the advanced stages.

“What we struggle with pancreatic cancer is a lot of the times symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be so vague which makes it difficult to sometimes diagnose,”Veeral Oza, M.D., gastroenterologist at Prisma Health, said.

In the state of S.C., health experts have seen around 1,000 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer for the year of 2020.

While symptoms are not terribly specific and impact both men and women, doctors recommend leading a healthy lifestyle to prevent this type of cancer.

“Not smoking is one thing. If you’re smoking, quitting smoking is another thing. Having a healthy diet has been shown to be helpful along with having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. If you’re drinking alcohol then really cutting back and not being an abuser of alcohol will really help you reduce that risk,” Oza said.

Symptoms include:

  • Jaundice
  • Back or belly pain
  • Weight loss or poor appetite
  • Nausea vomiting
  • Blood Clots
  • Diabetes

Doctors say those that were diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 60 or over should get checked for pancreatic cancer. Those living with diabetes have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer and it’s urged that people know their family’s health history.

For more information about pancreatic cancer, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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