Type 2 diabetes is a common metabolic disorder, particularly in older adults. As many as 25.9% of people who are over the age of 65 have diabetes. Because of the complications that may arise due to diabetes, researchers continue to work to find medical solutions. However, some of the drugs used to treat diabetes may present significant risks of their own.

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Victoza is a diabetes medication that works, in part, by affecting how much insulin the pancreas makes. When the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, the body is unable to effectively process sugar and maintain blood sugar levels. This drug stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin. However, there have been concerns about dangerous side effects associated with this drug. Victoza has caught the attention of regulators at the FDA because of worries of increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Have You Been Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer After Taking Victoza?

To learn more about getting compensation for the harm caused by Victoza, contact Pogust Braslow & Millrood today to schedule a consultation.

Studies on the risks associated with long term exposure to Victoza have been inconclusive. Because of this, the drug’s action and risks continue to be assessed. There have been a number of lawsuits regarding the health risks associated with this drug. If you believe you or a family member has been injured due to the use of Victoza, you are not without recourse. Get in touch with us to learn more about your rights under the law.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Your pancreas is a digestive organ that releases chemicals, including insulin, that help your body process the sugar that you eat and manage your blood sugar levels. It also secretes enzymes that aid in the digestion of food. The organ is about six inches long and resembles a pear laid on its side.

When pancreatic cancer develops, it most often starts in the cells that line the ducts of the pancreas, where insulin and other chemicals are excreted. This type of cancer is known as pancreatic exocrine cancer or pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Pancreatic cancer is more common in people who have diabetes. The disease can develop when pancreas cells begin to develop mutations in their DNA. Instead of going through a normal cell life cycle, the cells continue to grow uncontrollably. Left untreated, pancreatic cancer can metastasize (spread) into blood vessels and other organs near the pancreas.

What symptoms are associated with pancreatic cancer?

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer often do not show up until the cancer is advanced. Those symptoms may include:

  • jaundice, a yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • fatigue
  • upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back
  • loss of appetite
  • unintended weight loss
  • blood clots
  • diabetes
  • depression.

Experts recommend seeking medical help if you are experiencing unplanned weight loss or if you have persistent pain, fatigue or other signs or symptoms that are of concern.

How do doctors detect pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is more common in people who have experienced chronic inflammation of the pancreas, which is a potential concern associated with Victoza. It is also more common in people who have diabetes or a relative who has suffered pancreatic cancer.

If your doctor suspects that you have pancreatic cancer, he or she may order a number of tests. These tests can include imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs. Your doctor may also order a test that involves using an ultrasound device to take images of your pancreas from inside your stomach. Blood and tissue tests can also be used to confirm the presence of pancreatic cancer.

If the presence of pancreatic cancer is confirmed, the doctor will then work to determine how far along the disease is. Like other cancers, pancreatic cancer is categorized by stages. At the least severe stage, the disease is confined to the pancreas. At stage IV, it will have spread to other organs and tissue.

How is pancreatic cancer treated?

Pancreatic cancer treatments can include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. The treatment paths available will depend on your overall health, how advanced the disease is and other factors.

However, only about a third of people who develop pancreatic cancer are considered eligible for surgery because the disease is most often caught in its later stages. In late-stage pancreatic cancer, the focus may be on pain relief, preventing the cancer from growing further and preserving or improving quality of life.

If you or a loved one has developed pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer after using Victoza, we want to help. We have worked with a number of clients to recover compensation associated with damage from exposure to Victoza. Get in touch with Pogust Braslow & Millrood today. We’ll discuss your case and the potential legal remedies that are at your disposal.