Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer does not usually cause symptoms until it is too extensive to treat with surgery. That is why the outcome is usually so poor.
Unlike many other cancer types for which there are good screening tests (like mammograms, PSA and Pap tests, or colonoscopy), there is no screening test yet that has proven helpful.
While it is true that cancers are different, there are some striking similarities and we can hold out hope that a treatment for those that get more attention will benefit the less common cancers, too.
However, like many other cancers, pancreatic cancer is strongly associated with smoking (particularly in those with a family history of cancer).
Just one more reason for all of us not
to smoke, and to encourage our loved ones to quit as soon as possible.
Jan, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom at such a young age.