Doctors work to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The death of game show host Alex Trebek is bringing new attention to the disease that took his life pancreatic cancer.

Trebek died yesterday after a long battle with same cancer that recently killed Georgia Congressman John Lewis and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

57,000 people each year are diagnosed with the disease, killing 47,000 patients annually.

Vidant health oncologist Alexander Parikh says death depends on which stage it’s in when it is found. 

Common signs of pancreatic cancer are jaundice, yellow eyes, and skin.

“Sometimes it’s just as simple as a gallstone but it may certainly lead to pancreas cancer. Part of the problem with screening is a lot of the other symptoms are non-specific. I look at things like unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, particularly right below your sternum, and going to your back, new-onset diabetes,” said Dr. Alexander Parikh, ECU/Vidant Health Oncologist.

People ages 65 and older should be screened for this cancer.

November is pancreatic cancer awareness month.

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