Home Entertainment & Lifestyle Five early pancreatic cancer symptoms revealed

Five early pancreatic cancer symptoms revealed

Five early pancreatic cancer symptoms revealed


A pancreatic cancer survivor who is battling the disease for the second time shares the early signs that people of all ages should be aware of.

Charles Czajkowski, 63, a business development manager for a geotechnical company in Surbiton, Kingston, “declared war on pancreatic cancer” after a five-year ordeal with two bouts of the disease – which led to the death of his mother Romualda also passed away, aged 78, in 1999.

Mr Czajkowski, A man who is hoping treatment he received through his wife’s private health care package will save her life is set to speak to MPs in the Commons on Wednesday and urge the government to provide more funding for the condition Will urge.

He will speak with 20 other people who either have the disease or who have lost someone as part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

After his health began to decline in 2017, Charles faced a series of delays in his diagnosis and treatment through the NHS, until he contacted the Bupa Health Service through the workplace of his wife of 16 years, Jackie Czajkowski. not reached.

After initial treatment success, Charles’ cancer returned in May 2022 and private oncologists are now attempting to use a range of drugs, some of which are unavailable on the NHS, to save his life.

Now working to fight the disease and help patients identify it early, Charles is a pancreas patient representative and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Pancreas Cancer UK.

She is also a pancreatic patient representative for NHS Cancer UK, as part of the government’s 10-year plan to help optimize early diagnosis and early treatment planning for anyone with pancreatic cancer, liver cancer or biliary cancer. For.

“It’s given me control,” Charles said.

“Pancreatic cancer has declared war on me… So to get back at it, I have declared war on pancreatic cancer by helping to educate and save other people’s lives.

“It’s an awareness battle because pancreatic cancer is not much time and investment in the UK.”

Charles’ ordeal as a cancer patient began in 2017 when he was diagnosed with type two diabetes.

Halfway through that year, he had an attack of the pancreas – also known as acute pancreatitis – which, according to the NHS, is a severe pain that begins suddenly in the center of the patient’s abdomen and is accompanied by vomiting and a high temperature. Can also happen with

For the rest of the year, Charles was under observation amid repeated pancreas attacks and rapidly losing weight, going from 85 kg to about 75 kg at 6 feet tall.

“Another sign that things weren’t going right was that my pancreas wasn’t producing enzymes and so I started getting what they call pancreatic diarrhea, which is a sure sign if your food isn’t digesting properly.” It is,” Charles said.

As a result, his GP prescribed Charles pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT), which stabilized Charles’ weight as he was now able to absorb nutrients.

From there, Charles was sent to several different hospitals for scans and assessments.

Eventually, in early March 2019, further tests revealed a 10-millimetre tumor on the head of Charles’ pancreas.

On 25 March 2019, Charles met with the head of the surgical team at Hammersmith Hospital, accompanied by his wife and a Macmillan nurse.

“They told me, Charles, you don’t have chronic pancreatitis, you have pancreatic cancer,” Charles said.

“They had a Macmillan nurse there because apparently people usually go into shock.

“But all of a sudden I said, ‘Okay, so what are we going to do about this professor?’

The NHS doctor explained to Charles that the Whipple procedure to remove the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine, the gallbladder and bile duct would take place two months later.

After researching survival rates for pancreatic cancer, Charles feared this waiting time was a risk so he decided to go private for the rest of his treatment through his wife’s Bupa medical cover .

Just a week later, he was operated on at the London Clinic Hospital using a da Vinci surgical robot.

“I was basically told to say goodbye to my wife, because the operation carries a lot of risk,” Charles said.

“So it was very hard when we both went into the pre-med room because I didn’t know if I would wake up from this big operation.

“But luckily for me, when I was saying goodbye, they injected me with pre-med and next thing I was out.”

On 2 April, a private operation involved making five holes in Charles’ abdomen, meaning the infection was less likely to grow, and Charles was out of hospital 13 days later.

A month later, Charles began six months of fortnightly chemotherapy sessions, which caused his weight to drop to around 67 kg – he had weighed around 85 kg before his diagnosis. “I saw the skeleton,” said Charles.

“But I managed to stick it out. With a lot of hard work, you have to fight it, it’s a battle.”

After chemo, a scan found no examples of new tumors until — in early 2020 — another scan revealed dots on her right lung and a swollen lymph node close to her aorta.

By August 2020, the dots had grown into 10-millimetre tumours, so Charles had a lung ablation – a surgical treatment where a probe is inserted which will destroy the tumors with extreme heat or cold.

Lymph node treatment was more complicated because standard radiotherapy would have also touched Charles’ aorta and it was at risk of rupturing.

Instead, in early October, Charles was treated at Genesis Care in Oxford with a new technology, the MRIdian Linac – a guided radiotherapy using an MRI system so that collateral damage is minimized.

After five one-hour sessions over two weeks, the lymph node tumor was gone and there was no damage to Charles’ aorta, meaning Charles’ life could finally return to normal, apart from a three-month check-up scan.

At this point, Charles decided to dedicate his life, in addition to his work and family, to the pancreatic cancer campaign, joining Pancreatic Cancer UK and becoming the pancreatic cancer patient representative for Genesis Care.

However, in May 2022, a CT scan revealed that his pancreatic cancer had returned in a secondary form.

At this stage, there is no cure for his condition, but Charles’ oncologist put him back on chemotherapy with two new drugs, one of which is not available on the NHS.

After three months of treatment the tumor continued to grow and in September, Charles began another round of fortnightly chemotherapy.

He will find out later this month whether his tumor has shrunk with this treatment.

On his trip to Parliament, he and others will speak personally to between 60 and 80 MPs who have signed up to the Pancreatic Cancer UK initiative as part of their No Time to Wait campaign.

“Our role is to tell our story, basically, to educate them so they understand we need more investment,” he said.

Reflecting on his experience with cancer, Charles said: “Fighting cancer is more than fighting it physically, it’s mental.

“You have to focus on all the positives you can get out of it.

“I have traveled all over the world for my work and been to places most people would only dream of visiting, and I took it for granted.

“But going through cancer puts your whole life into perspective.”


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