Pavarotti: The ‘serious condition’ that led to the opera singer’s death- signs to spot

The Italian singer died at the age of 71, in his home near Modena in northern Italy. His death was announced by his manager Terri Robson, who went on to explain that the singer had died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. After his final performance at the Winter Olympics, the star had made no other public appearances, and was hospitalised in the summer of the following year. What are the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Having planned to spend his final years performing in a grand worldwide farewell tour of the globe, sadly Pavarotti only managed to complete half of the shows before his health took a turn.

The New York Times reported that due to physical ailments, his movement on stage became limited, meaning he regularly cancelled performances.

In 1995, right at the point of crescendo in a song called La Fille du Régiment, the star’s voice failed on the high notes, showing the pressure of such a demanding role on an ageing singer.

In 2002, the star was scheduled to perform twice at the Met in New York, but after arriving late and developing a cold on the day of the first performance, he soon withdrew, disappointing thousands of fans.

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The singer also seemed to struggle with his weight, which became a topic of discussion amongst the public.

In July 2006, a statement was released by the AGI news agency that read: “(Pavarotti) is at home in a very serious condition.”

Although medical authorities declined to comment any further, it was clear that the singer’s health had taken a shocking turn.

The NHS explains that pancreatic cancer is a condition that develops when cells in the pancreas grow out of control, forming a lump.

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There are several different types of pancreatic cancer, with the most common known as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Pancreatic Cancer UK goes on to explain that about 95 percent of all pancreatic cancer cases in the UK are of this type.

The cancer develops in the lining of small tubes in the pancreas, called the ducts. These ducts are responsible for carrying digestive juices, which contain enzymes into the main pancreatic duct and then onto the first part of the small intestine.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer may be extremely hard to spot, with some individuals not experiencing any at all. For those that do experience symptoms, they can include:

  • The whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow (jaundice), you may also have itchy skin, darker pee and paler poo than usual
  • Loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
  • Feeling tired or having no energy
  • A high temperature, or feeling hot or shivery.

Other symptoms may affect your digestion, making you feel sick, have diarrhoea or cause pain in the top part of your tummy and back.

It is important to note that symptoms, especially the ones that affect the digestive system are extremely common and may be caused by different conditions.

Experiencing these symptoms does not mean that you have pancreatic cancer, but it is important to get checked by a GP just in case, as early detection makes the condition more treatable.

Pancreatic Cancer UK adds that not everyone will get the same symptoms. People at different stages of their cancer may have an entirely different ordeal. However, there are ways to deal with symptoms to help you feel both physically and emotionally stronger.

When going to get checked at your local GP, individuals are most likely to have a blood test and ultrasound scan. A biopsy may also be carried out in order to collect sample calls from the pancreas to determine whether someone has pancreatic cancer or not.

Depending on the size and type of the cancer, where it is located, if it has spread or not and the general health of the individual, treatment will differ.

Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, with regular check-ups and frequent tests and scans throughout, as pancreatic cancer can sometimes be tricky to treat.

Taking capsules known as pancreatic enzymes whenever you eat can also help to improve problems with digestion, along with painkillers and other treatments to help with any side effects that may occur due to treatment.

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