Pancreatic Cancer

Why is pancreatic cancer called a silent disease?

A Answers (1)

  • AJohn A. Chabot, Endocrinology/diabetes/metabolism, answered on behalf of Columbia University Department of Surgery

    Pancreatic cancer is known as a "silent disease" because identifiable symptoms are not usually present in the early stages of the disease. Many symptoms of pancreatic cancer are mild at first, so patients often ignore them. Due in large part to the position of the pancreas deep in the abdomen, a pancreatic tumor can grow for years before causing pressure, pain, or other signs of illness. This can make it difficult for a patient or doctor to recognize a problem.

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