Pancreatic cancer is a form of malignant neoplasm originating from the pancreatic tissue. In 95% of the cases of pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma forms within the exocrine component of the pancreas, in minority, neuroendocrine tumours arise from the islet cells. In the USA, pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer related deaths, and in the world, the 8thmost common cause. The time for metastasis of the cancer varies from person to person. Men are 30% more likely to get pancreatic cancer than their female counter parts.
The symptoms and severity of the condition depends to a great extent on the location, size and tissue type of the tumour. At an early stage, it often does not promote any symptoms and even at later stages, symptoms vary widely, which is often the cause for the cancer going unnoticed until it is in advanced stages. The common symptoms of the condition include:
Pain in the upper abdomen that spreads towards the back.
Heartburn, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, repeated or continuous diarrhoea.
Quick weight loss, jaundice.
Pulmonary embolisms and elevated levels of blood sugar can be observed in some patients.
The exact cause for pancreatic cancer has not yet been discovered; however , there are a few things which are considered to increase the risk factor for this grave disease. Generally cigarette smoking and consumption of excessive alcohol are linked with the disease; cigarette smoking has a risk ratio of 1. 74 with respect to pancreatic cancer, whereas the majority of studies have found no direct relation between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer. Diabetes mellitus, chronic pancreatitis, Gingivitis and Obesity, are the other diseases believed to increase the risk of getting pancreatic cancer.
The exocrine pancreas cancer, which accounts for 95% of the cases, can be treated through surgery, radiation or chemotherapy depending on the stage of cancer and other medical factors. Only localized cancer is suitable for surgery, and the type of the surgery depends vastly on the location of the tumour. The Whipple procedure is commonly used for cancers located at the top part of the pancreas, whereas distal pancreatectomy is performed for the cancer on the bottom part. Radiation therapy can be used in different circumstances; palliative chemotherapy can also be effective to improve the quality of life. You can get more details on pancreatic cancer information on websites of pancreatic cancer care centers.
If you want to know more about cancer, you can read more articles at Breast Cancer.