The pancreas is a gland responsible for producing and releasing substances into other parts of the body. Pancreatic cancer is the UK’s ninth most common type of cancer, usually occurring in people over the age of 40. The pancreas produces insulin, which stabilises blood sugar, and digestive enzymes, used to break down food.
When a tumour develops in the pancreas, it can often be difficult to diagnose as these types of tumours rarely cause symptoms in the early stages. You may notice unexplained weight loss, tummy pain or jaundice, but these symptoms could be indicative of other things. Fever and nausea can also be experienced in the later stages of the disease.
When you visit your GP, they may carry out a blood test as well as a physical exam of your abdomen, and you could be referred to hospital for an ultrasound scan and further tests. Failure to diagnose pancreatic cancer could be life-threatening as it is a very serious form of cancer that is difficult to treat. This type of cancer is generally not diagnosed until it is relatively advanced, and surgery remains the only way to totally cure it. Treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy can help slow the tumour’s growth and ease symptoms, but failure to diagnose pancreatic cancer could worsen your prognosis.
Have you received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer?
When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your first thought is usually, “Can it be cured?” The good news is that if pancreatic cancer is caught early enough and you are eligible for surgery, it may be able to be cured. If your doctor fails to diagnose pancreatic cancer at an early stage and as a result your cancer spreads, they could be held responsible for medical negligence. Contact a personal injury lawyer if you think you may have suffered due to the actions of a negligent medical professional, to see if you can make a claim for compensation.
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