Pancreatic cancer: Symptoms and survival rate in UK

A pancreatic cancer survivor battling the ailment for a 2nd time has shared the early signals individuals of all ages ought to know.

Charles Czajkowski, 63, a small business improvement manager for a geotechnical business from Surbiton, Kingston, has “declared war on pancreatic cancer” right after a 5-yr ordeal with two rounds of the disease – which also brought about the loss of life of his mother Romaulda, aged 78, in 1999.

Czajkowski, who is hoping procedure he obtained by way of his wife’s personal health care offer will save his daily life, has urged the govt to present larger funding for the condition.

Just after his overall health started to decline in 2017, Czajkowski confronted a sequence of delays to his analysis and treatment method by the NHS right up until he accessed Bupa healthcare as a result of the office of his wife of 16 decades, Jackie.

Just after preliminary remedy achievement, in Might 2022 Czajkowski’s cancer returned and non-public oncologists are now attempting to use a sequence of prescription drugs, some of which are unavailable on the NHS, to save his everyday living.

Now performing to battle the ailment and help people to location it early, Czajkowski is on the scientific advisory board for Pancreatic Most cancers United kingdom.

“It’s provided me command,” Czajkowski stated. “Pancreatic cancer has declared war on me… so to get again at it, I have declared war on pancreatic cancer by becoming equipped to help teach and help you save other people’s life.

“It’s an recognition struggle mainly because pancreatic cancer United kingdom has not had much air time and hasn’t had the expenditure.”

(Obtain/PA Serious Life)

What are the signs or symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Typical signs of pancreatic most cancers involve:

  • A new analysis of diabetic issues, or worsening diabetic issues that will become hard to manage
  • Abdominal pain that radiates to the back
  • Loss of urge for food or accidental pounds decline
  • Digestive symptoms, this sort of as diarrhoea
  • Itchy pores and skin

How was Czajkowski identified?

Czajkowski’s ordeal as a cancer affected person commenced in 2017 when he was diagnosed with kind two diabetes.

Halfway through that year, he experienced a pancreatic attack – also known as acute pancreatitis – which, in accordance to the NHS, is a critical agony which commences all of a sudden in the centre of a patient’s abdomen and can also be accompanied by vomiting and a high temperature.

For the rest of the calendar year, Czajkowski was below observation amid repeated pancreatic assaults and he was promptly getting rid of pounds, dropping from 85kg to all around 75kg at 6ft tall.

“Another sign that issues weren’t going proper was that my pancreas was not creating the enzymes and so I begun receiving what they get in touch with pancreatic diarrhea, which is a correct signal if your food’s not getting digested correctly,” Czajkowski additional.

As a result, his GP prescribed Czajkowski Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Remedy (Pert) which created his excess weight steady as he was now in a position to soak up nutrition.

From there, Czajkowski was sent to a collection of various hospitals for scans and assessments.

Sooner or later, at the commencing of March 2019, even more checks revealed a 10-millimetre tumour on the head of Czajkowski’s pancreas.

How was Czajkowski’s cancer taken care of?

In March 2019, Czajkowski achieved with the head of the surgical crew at Hammersmith Medical center together with his wife and a Macmillan nurse.

The NHS doctor explained to Czajkowski that a whipple procedure to clear away the head of the pancreas, the very first part of the smaller intestine, the gallbladder and the bile duct, would get position two months later on.

Following looking into the survival fee for pancreatic most cancers, Czajkowski feared this wait time was a risk so determined to go personal for the rest of his treatment as a result of his wife’s Bupa health care go over.

His operation was carried out at the London Clinic Healthcare facility applying a Da Vinci surgical robot in April.

“I was generally advised to say goodbye to my spouse, simply because the operation will come with a whole lot of threat,” Czajkowski claimed.

“So it was pretty challenging when we both of those went into the pre-med room for the reason that I did not know if I was heading to wake up from this key procedure.

“But luckily for us for me, just when I was saying goodbye, they had just injected me with the pre-med and future factor I was out.”

Charles later began six months of fortnightly chemotherapy classes, which led to his weight dropping to just all-around 67kg – just before his diagnosis he was all around 85kg.

“I seemed skeletal,” Czajkowski mentioned. “But I managed to stick it out. With a good deal of challenging perform, you have to combat it, it is a struggle.”

Czajkowski’s cancer returned in 2020

In May well 2022, a CT scan uncovered Czajkowski’s pancreatic most cancers had returned in a secondary variety.

At this stage, there is no cure for his issue, but Czajkowski’s oncologist put him back again on chemotherapy with two new medicine, 1 of which is not out there on the NHS.

Following three months of treatment the tumours continued to grow and, in September, Czajkowski commenced a further spherical of chemotherapy fortnightly.

He will uncover out if this remedy has shrunk his tumour later on this month.

Reflecting on his practical experience with cancer, Czajkowski said: “Fighting most cancers is additional than battling it bodily, it’s psychological. You have to concentrate on all the positivity, you can get out of it.

“I’ve travelled all more than the world in my position and have been to destinations that folks would have dreamt of likely, and I took that for granted.

“But going via most cancers puts your entire life into viewpoint.”