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Winterhaven Hospice Blog

What You Should Know About Pancreatic Cancer

National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month: What People Should Know

National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of this deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with a five-year survival rate of just 10%. However, early detection and treatment can improve survival rates significantly.

Here are some things you should know about pancreatic cancer:

  • Symptoms: Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed late, because the early symptoms are vague and can be mistaken for other conditions. Some common symptoms include upper abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), weight loss, and changes in appetite.
  • Risk factors: Some risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, obesity, diabetes, and chronic pancreatitis.
  • Diagnosis: Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed using a variety of tests, including imaging tests (such as CT scans and MRIs), blood tests, and biopsy.
  • Treatment: Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on the stage of the disease and other factors. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
pancreatic cancer awareness

How Home Health Can Help People with Pancreatic Cancer

Home health care can provide valuable support to people with pancreatic cancer and their caregivers. Home health aides can help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming.

Home health nurses can provide skilled nursing care, such as wound care, pain management, and medication administration. They can also teach patients and caregivers about the disease and how to manage it at home.

Other home health services that may be helpful for people with pancreatic cancer include:

  • Physical therapy to help patients maintain strength and mobility
  • Occupational therapy to help patients with activities of daily living and adaptive equipment
  • Speech therapy to help patients with swallowing difficulties
  • Nutritional counseling to help patients maintain a healthy weight and get the nutrients they need
cancer patient

How Hospice Can Help People with Pancreatic Cancer

Hospice is a type of care that focuses on providing comfort and support to people with terminal illnesses. Hospice can be provided at home, in a nursing home, or wherever the patient calls home.

Hospice care for people with pancreatic cancer may include:

  • Pain management
  • Symptom control
  • Emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families
  • Respite care for caregivers

Hospice care can help people with pancreatic cancer live their remaining time as comfortably and fully as possible. Hospice care can also provide support to caregivers during this difficult time.

If you are a patient with pancreatic cancer or a caregiver for someone with pancreatic cancer, please know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you, including compassionate hospice care in the place you call home. To learn more about how we can help, please contact us today!

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