Study Finds Pancreatic Cancer Incidence Grows Fastest Among Young Women – Symptoms to Spot

Pancreatic cancer is responsible for nearly 10,000 deaths in the UK each year, making it the fifth deadliest form of the disease. And over the past decade, rates have risen by about three percent. Now, a new study has found that women are now more at risk of developing the disease.

An article published in the journal Gastroenterology confirmed an increase in the incidence of pancreatic cancer in the United States.

In particular, they grow faster among young women, especially blacks, compared to men of the same age.

Srinivas Ghaddam, senior author of the study, explained: “We can say that the incidence of pancreatic cancer among women is rapidly increasing, which draws attention to the need for further research in this area.

“It is necessary to understand these trends and make changes today so that it does not have a disproportionate impact on women in the future.”

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As part of the study, the Cedars-Sinai Cancer team analyzed data on patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 2001 and 2018 from the National Cancer Registry Program (NCPR) database.

This database represents approximately 64.5 percent of the US population.

They found that during this time, the incidence of pancreatic cancer increased in both women and men.

But unexpectedly, rates for women under age 55 rose 2.4 percent higher than for men of the same age, while there was a similar rise in rates for older men and women.

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In addition, rates for young black women rose 2.23 percent higher than for young black men.

“And while we report improvements in pancreatic cancer survival every year, that improvement is mostly seen in men,” said Mr. Gaddam, who is also Associate Director of Pancreatic Biliary Research at Cedars-Sinai.

“The death rate among women is not improving.”

One theory the team held was related to the type and location of the tumors.

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An increase in the incidence of adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head, which is a particularly aggressive and deadly type of tumor located in the head of the pancreas, has been revealed.

Mr. Ghaddam advocated future research to investigate the causes of these trends, but noted that the growth was small at the moment and his findings should not be alarming.

He believed that it was most important to make appropriate lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

He said: “The data show us a slight increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer.

“And this awareness can refocus people on the need to quit smoking, cut down on alcohol, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and control their weight.

“All of these lifestyle changes help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.”

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Jaundice
  • itchy skin
  • Urine is darker and poop is paler than usual
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss without trying
  • Feeling tired or lack of energy
  • High fever or feeling hot or chilly
  • feeling or sickness
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Pain in the upper abdomen and back, which may worsen when you eat or lie down and lessen when you lean forward
  • Symptoms of indigestion, such as feeling bloated.

If you think you may have pancreatic cancer, you should contact your GP immediately.

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