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How one man beats the odds against pancreatic cancer

In 2008, Dr. Michael Clarfield was experiencing abdominal pains—it was soon discovered that he had a large pancreatic tumour. 

As a doctor, he knew that most patients don't survive six months' time. In fact, only 7 per cent of people diagnosed survive. 

The good news for him was that it was contained, meaning the cancer hadn’t spread elsewhere. Clarfield underwent a lengthy surgery during which his pancreas was completely removed—leaving him diabetic—and he also underwent six months of radiation and chemotherapy.

Since his treatment ended more then three years ago, Clarfield remains cancer-free. He says says awareness is key as early diagnosis is the only way to survive the disease. 

Below are some signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer: 

  • Pain in the upper abdomen or back
  • Jaundice
  • Changes in stool colour
  • Overall skin itch
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss
  • Diabetes late in life
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea and Constipation

Today, Dr. Michael Clarfield remains passionate about helping inform others about the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. We speak to him in the clip above.

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