Warning: Do not ever assume that just because your troublesome digestive symptoms come and go, that they can’t possibly mean pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Julie Evans and colleagues interviewed 40 people (age 35-84) who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The genders were about 50/50.
The report is titled “It can’t be very important because it comes and goes.”
Dr. Evans and her team found that symptoms that appeared and then went away, then came back, and so on, were not uncommon in the patients.
This come and go nature of symptoms occurred in the months, and even years, prior to diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
The patients reported that the symptoms that did not persist, that instead came and went, did not alarm them enough to consider cancer as a possible cause.
What made the patients finally seek medical attention?
• Time passage revealed a symptom pattern.
• Frequency of symptoms increased.
• Symptom nature changed.
• New symptom appearance.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Can Be Intermittent
The paper states, “Our study reports for the first time that symptoms of an intermittent nature may precede a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Patients (and potentially their doctors) may be falsely reassured by symptoms that come and go.”
The study authors urge greater awareness that intermittent symptoms can be caused by cancer.
A greater awareness can lead to an earlier diagnosis when the disease is more treatable, even curable.
The full report is in the British Medical Journal Open 2014.