WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Pancreatic cancer is cancer that starts in the pancreas. The pancreas is located just behind the stomach. It helps digest food by making enzymes. The pancreas also makes hormones, such as insulin, to help balance blood sugar levels.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Medicines may be given to decrease pain or other symptoms. You may also need insulin to control your blood sugar level.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You will need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your symptoms:
- Rest as needed. Rest often throughout the day. Alternate times of activity with times of rest.
- Eat small meals throughout the day. You may not feel hungry, but it is important that you eat. Proper nutrition can give you more energy, maintain your weight, and help you feel better. A dietitian can help you find ways to get enough protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals. Ask if you need to take a pancreatic enzyme supplement with meals to help with digestion.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information if you need help quitting.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You cannot control your pain, even after you take pain medicine.
- Your abdomen is bloated.
- You have diarrhea, light-colored or oily, foul-smelling bowel movements.
- You have new or worsening weight loss, jaundice, or back pain.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.