Family Assumed 61-Year-Old Mother’s Sudden Weight Loss Was Due To Dieting; It Turned Out To Be Pancreatic Cancer

Diet or cancer?

  • Eileen Hill-Clement, 61, has been struggling with weight loss and back pain for up to 5 years. In 2018, she underwent an MRI which found that she had pancreatic cancer. She died 5 months later.
  • Pancreatic cancer often has no symptoms until the disease has already advanced to later stages. These symptoms can include unexplained weight loss, back pain, abdominal pain, and jaundice.
  • There are also challenges in screening for the disease as the pancreas is located deep in the body and thus tumors are not prominent.

When the children of Eileen Hill Clement noticed that their mother, 61, was losing a lot of weight, he immediately assumed it was due to a consistent diet. However, after visiting her doctor who complained of unexplained weight loss and constant back pain, she was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Eileen had been experiencing weight loss and back pain for up to 5 years, and had been regularly going to see her doctor complaining of health problems. She was overlooked a few times, but in 2018 a doctor hypothesised that it might be due to a gallbladder problem, and she had an MRI to be checked. It turns out that the problems stemmed from pancreatic cancer, and since it was detected so late, she was told it was incurable. This news was not only shocking to Elaine, but also her two children, Stephen and Megan, who assumed the weight loss was due to their mother dieting and trying to stay fit.

RELATED: Pancreatic cancer rates are on the rise in women ages 15 to 34, according to new research; How to recognize the symptoms

“She was always complaining about her weight but she was never overweight, she was always skinny,” Megan told Wells magazine online. “We just thought she was losing weight from her diet and going to Weight Watchers.”

Due to the progression of the disease, Eileen passed away 5 months after hearing the news. Soon after her diagnosis, her children began researching more about the disease, because they had never heard of this type of cancer before – despite it being one of the deadliest.

“After her diagnosis, we learned that her pain was actually a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” Stephen said. “She must have had cancer for several years before she was actually diagnosed. It was very difficult and upsetting, but my mentality was just to get through and get through every single day. It was kind of a hiccup and now it’s a blur.”

Dr. Alison Ocean explains why pancreatic cancer is so difficult to treat

Pancreatic cancer: symptoms

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early, as symptoms often do not appear until the disease has already progressed to later stages. This is one of the reasons why it is known as one of the most difficult types of cancer to treat successfully, since at a later stage of diagnosis, there are fewer treatment options available.

“So the pancreas is an organ in your abdomen, and that’s where pancreatic cancer originates,” said Dr. Anirban Mitra, co-chair of Moonshot Pancreatic Cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center, previously. SurvivorNet. “Because the pancreas is located inside the abdomen, it often has no symptoms that tell you there is a problem with the pancreas. By the time individuals go to the clinic with symptoms such as jaundice, weight loss, back pain or diabetes, it is often too late in the day. disease stage.

RELATED: RELATED: When Heartthrob Patrick Swayze showed signs of pancreatic cancer, he tried to delay a doctor’s visit; His wife does not allow him

You can still be vigilant about signs that something is wrong. Here are the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer:

  • flatulence
  • Abdominal or back pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood clots (they can cause swelling and pain in the affected areas)
  • diabetic

In addition to symptoms that appear later, there is still much work to be done regarding screening methods. The pancreas is located deep in the body, so tumors are not as prominent as they are with other types of cancer such as breast cancer or melanoma. However, research and clinical trials are still ongoing to make treatment options safe and accessible. When it comes to cancer awareness and treatment, knowledge is power. Always be sure to look for potential signs.

Dr. Anirban Mitra, co-chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Lunar Snapshot at MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.

Diet or cancer?

  • Eileen Hill-Clement, 61, has been struggling with weight loss and back pain for up to 5 years. In 2018, she underwent an MRI which found that she had pancreatic cancer. She died 5 months later.
  • Pancreatic cancer often has no symptoms until the disease has already advanced to later stages. These symptoms can include unexplained weight loss, back pain, abdominal pain, and jaundice.
  • There are also challenges in screening for the disease as the pancreas is located deep in the body and thus tumors are not prominent.

When the children of Eileen Hill Clement noticed that their mother, 61, was losing a lot of weight, he immediately assumed it was due to a consistent diet. However, after visiting her doctor who complained of unexplained weight loss and constant back pain, she was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Eileen had been experiencing weight loss and back pain for up to 5 years, and had been regularly going to see her doctor complaining of health problems. She was overlooked several times, but in 2018 a doctor hypothesised that it might be due to a gallbladder problem, and she had an MRI to be checked. It turns out that the problems stemmed from pancreatic cancer, and since it was detected so late, she was told it was incurable. This news was not only shocking to Elaine, but also her two children, Stephen and Megan, who assumed the weight loss was due to their mother dieting and trying to stay fit.

Read more

RELATED: Pancreatic cancer rates are on the rise in women ages 15 to 34, according to new research; How to recognize the symptoms

“She was always complaining about her weight but she was never overweight, she was always skinny,” Megan told Wells magazine online. “We just thought she was losing weight from her diet and going to Weight Watchers.”

Due to the progression of the disease, Eileen passed away 5 months after hearing the news. Soon after her diagnosis, her children began researching more about the disease, because they had never heard of this type of cancer before – despite it being one of the deadliest.

“After her diagnosis, we learned that her pain was actually a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” Stephen said. “She must have had cancer for several years before she was actually diagnosed. It was very difficult and upsetting, but my mentality was just to get through and get through every single day. It was kind of a hiccup and now it’s a blur.”

Dr. Alison Ocean explains why pancreatic cancer is so difficult to treat

Pancreatic cancer: symptoms

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early, as symptoms often do not appear until the disease has already progressed to later stages. This is one of the reasons why it is known as one of the most difficult types of cancer to treat successfully, since at a later stage of diagnosis, there are fewer treatment options available.

“So the pancreas is an organ in your abdomen, and that’s where pancreatic cancer originates,” said Dr. Anirban Mitra, co-chair of Moonshot Pancreatic Cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center, previously. SurvivorNet. “Because the pancreas is located inside the abdomen, it often has no symptoms that tell you there is a problem with the pancreas. By the time individuals go to the clinic with symptoms such as jaundice, weight loss, back pain or diabetes, it is often too late in the day. disease stage.

RELATED: RELATED: When Heartthrob Patrick Swayze showed signs of pancreatic cancer, he tried to delay a doctor’s visit; His wife does not allow him

You can still be vigilant about signs that something is wrong. Here are the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer:

  • flatulence
  • Abdominal or back pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood clots (they can cause swelling and pain in the affected areas)
  • diabetic

In addition to symptoms that appear later, there is still much work to be done regarding screening methods. The pancreas is located deep in the body, so tumors are not as prominent as they are with other types of cancer such as breast cancer or melanoma. However, research and clinical trials are still ongoing to make treatment options safe and accessible. When it comes to cancer awareness and treatment, knowledge is power. Always be sure to look for potential signs.

Dr. Anirban Mitra, co-chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Lunar Snapshot at MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.

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