A patient was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and asks the nurse about the possible complications of this disease. The nurse responds correctly with which of the following?
• Complications from pancreatic cancer include blood clots (all types of cancers put individuals at increased risk for blood clots due to changes in the blood that make clot formation more likely), infections (due to immunosuppression), ascites (collection of fluid in the abdomen due to cancer spreading to the peritoneum, portal hypertension, albuminemia, or blocked lymph nodes), jaundice (if a bile duct becomes blocked), pain (tumor may press on nerves in the abdomen), and weight loss.
• Weight loss can be due to the increased metabolic demands of malignant cells, loss of appetite, or even emotional stress over the daily challenges of having cancer. Weight loss occurs frequently with malignancy.
• Incorrect: Weight gain is not a usual complication of cancer.