Significant Weight Loss – Patients with pancreatic cancer often have early satiety – meaning they are unable to eat a full meal or feeling full after only a small amount of food. They may also lose their appetite altogether.
Abdominal Pain – Patients often have a dull, aching abdominal pain in their abdomen, which can sometimes spread to the upper back. Pain in these areas may become worse after the patient eats or lies down.
Bloating of the Abdomen – When a tumor causes a blockage in the lymphatic system, extra fluid cannot be drained well and causes fluid buildup in the abdomen, causes the belly to swell and stretch out.
Lower Back Pain – Patients with pancreatic cancer can experience pain in their lower back, caused by a tumor pushing against nerves or organs near the pancreas or blocking the digestive tract.
Jaundice – Caused by a blockage in the bile duct, jaundice refers to the yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes in pancreatic cancer patients.
Problems with Digestion – Pancreatic cancer commonly experience digestive issues caused by a tumor blocking or slowing the regular digestive processes in the body.
“Cannabis and hemp can provide great complimentary care products for patients with pancreatic cancer,” says Kimberly Stoll-French, Chapter Development Director of the Foundation. “People who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer often experience pain, have trouble sleeping, suffer from nausea and trouble keeping certain foods down, and we encourage patients to try any possible therapy available to them that may help alleviate their suffering and aid in improving their overall wellness.”
With such low survival rates, pancreatic cancer patients are seeking out alternative therapies in addition to their traditional treatments of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Stoll-French is hopeful Tree of Life Seeds’ Hemp Oil CBD + Melatonin & Chamomile Soft Gels and Hemp Oil CBD + Curcumin Soft Gels, in particular, can bring some relief to patients who have a difficult time sleeping, pain specific to their abdomen or lower back.
She adds, “We encourage patients to pursue any therapy that may alleviate their pain in a safe and natural way.”
Health and wellness should be about the whole person and not necessarily focus solely on eastern vs western medicine. Rather, wellness efforts should reflect a balance of the two, working together in a complementary manner. To this end, the foundation focuses their research efforts toward obtaining a balance between traditional and integrative, alternative, and complementary therapies, which they explore in their Integrative Alternative Complementary Therapies Blog.
As many patients and families travel this long and painful road of uncertainty, there is hope through many avenues. Every day offers new research and treatments. While this devastating disease takes courage to keep going, NPCF has dedicated the last decade to helping sustain the quality of life and dignity of our family and friends afflicted with pancreatic cancer.