Pancreatic cancer Symptoms , Signs and Treatment
It begins in the tissues of your pancreas , The pancreac is the organ in your abdomen which lies behind the lower part of the stomach , It secretes the enzymes which help in the digestion and the hormones that help to regulate the metabolism of sugars .
The pancreas has endocrine and exocrine functions , It produces the digestive juices and the hormones which regulate the blood sugar , The pancreatic cancer is highly lethal because it grows and spreads rapidly and it is diagnosed in its late stages , And it is the disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas .
The cells called the exocrine pancreas cells produce the digestive juices , while the cells called the endocrine pancreas cells produce the hormones , The majority of pancreatic cancers start in the exocrine cells , Most pancreatic cancers are adenocarcinomas .
The pancreatic cancer spreads rapidly and it is seldom detected in the early stages which is the main reason why it is a leading cause of the cancer death , The signs and symptoms may not appear until the pancreatic cancer is advanced and the complete surgical removal is not possible .
The genetic analysis has recently identified four pancreatic cancer subtypes –- The squamous , The pancreatic progenitor , The aberrantly differentiated endocrine exocrine (ADEX) , and The immunogenic .
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms and Signs
The pancreatic cancer does not cause symptoms until it has grown , so it is most diagnosed in the advanced stages rather than early in the course of the disease , The painless jaundice ( It is the yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes) without the pain can be the early sign of the pancreatic cancer .
The other symptoms that can occur with more advanced disease are nausea , vomiting , the unexplained weight loss , the itching skin , the back pain , dark urine , and the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck can be present as well .
The pancreatic cancer causes symptoms such as the pain in the upper or middle abdomen , the abdominal bloating , diarrhea , the fatigue , depression , light-colored stools , and the loss of appetite .
Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors
Many factors that could put you at the risk for developing the pancreatic cancer include Smoking , Chronic pancreatitis ( inflammation of the pancreas ) , the inherited conditions ( including the hereditary pancreatitis ) , Familial pancreatic cancer syndromes , And Long-standing diabetes .
The pancreatic cancer rarely occurs before the age of 40 , and more than half of cases of the pancreatic adenocarcinoma occur in those over 70 , The risk factors for the pancreatic cancer are due to the obesity and certain rare genetic conditions , About 25% of cases are linked to tobacco smoking , and 5–10% are linked to the inherited genes .
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
The pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose , and the diagnosis is made late in the course of the disease , The pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed by a combination of the medical imaging techniques such as the ultrasound or the computed tomography , the blood tests , and the examination of tissue samples (biopsy).
There are various treatments for the pancreatic cancer such as the surgery , the chemotherapy , and the radiation therapy , The chemotherapy uses the drugs to treat the cancer , while the radiation therapy uses X-rays or the other kinds of radiation to kill the cancer cells , The surgery can be used to remove the tumor or to treat the symptoms of the pancreatic cancer .
The only curative treatment is the surgical removal of all cancer and the pancreatic transplant , Many patients are not eligible for the pancreas transplant , The chemotherapy for the metastatic pancreatic cancer can extend the life and improve the quality of life as it is made after the surgery , and it can lower the chances of the cancer returning .