Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that happens in the pancreas. This cancer happens in tissues of the pancreas. Pancreas is the organ that lies on the back of the lower part of the stomach. The pancreas is one of the major organs that is essential in producing enzymes that help in better digestion of food in the body.
On the other hand, the pancreas also helps to release hormones that are useful for managing blood sugar levels in the body.
In this article, we will mainly learn about Pancreatic cancer in general and the major causes of the occurrence of such cancer. Following that, we will also talk about the major symptoms of the human body, which help in determining this disease. Lastly, we will also learn about the ways of preventing Pancreatic cancer.
What Is Pancreatic Cancer?
Growth in the pancreas can be of two types – either cancerous or non-cancerous. Here, we will talk about cancerous pancreatic growth. The most common type of Pancreatic cancer starts in the cells of the pancreas, which line the ducts that enable the passage of digestive enzymes out of the pancreas.
According to the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Network, the survival rate of this disease for a duration of five years is 12%. The worrying factor is that it has increased in the last ten years.
The Pancreatic Cancer Survival Network claims, “Over the past decade, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients increased from 6% to 12%. There is an urgent need to improve survival even more. But this increase shows that progress is being made. Those percentage points mean that 12 people out of 100, instead of six people out of 100, will be alive five years after their pancreatic cancer diagnosis.”
Causes Of Pancreatic Cancer
The actual causes are still not fully known. However, there are some risk factors that may lead to the cause of this problem. Despite that, mainly, this disease happens when the DNA of the cells of the pancreas is altered or mutated. The mutation signals the cell to multiply uncontrollably and survive after the normal cells of the body die out.
The cells of the pancreas accumulate together to develop a tumor. These cancerous cells spread to the surrounding organs and blood vessels, as well as the other parts of the body. Hence, the best time to treat such cancer is now, before it becomes uncontrollable.
According to the American Cancer Society, “In some cases, there might be a factor that may decrease your risk of developing cancer or has an unclear effect. That is not considered a risk factor, but you may see them noted clearly on this page as well. Having a risk factor, or even many, does not mean that you will get cancer. And some people who get cancer may have few or no known risk factors.”
The following are the major risk factors of Pancreatic cancer:
- Tobacco is one of the major risk factors for the formation of this type of cancer, and it raises the likelihood of cancer.
- It has been found that smoking is one of the major reasons for 30% of all incidents of this disease.
- Obesity also increases the chances of Pancreatic cancer, and in persons with better health and diet, the risks associated are very low.
- People who have been diagnosed with diabetes recently have a 5.4 times more chance for the risk of getting this disease.
- Chronic pancreatitis or long-lasting pancreatitis is one of the major risk factors that can lead to the development of such a problem. In fact, it increases the risk by twenty-six folds.
- Genetic factors are also one of the top risk factors for developing cancer in the pancreas. Among all the patients with cancer in the pancreas, almost 5-10% of them have developed it genetically.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer?
The signs of Pancreatic cancer can be varied, and it does not happen a lot until and unless the disease is in its advanced stage. Hence, if you see some of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Here are the symptoms:
- Pain in the abdomen leads to back pain later on.
- Sudden weight loss and loss of appetite.
- Skins are getting yellowish, and signs of jaundice.
- Stools are of light color.
- Urine is always of dark color.
- Skin itches quite a number of times.
- Diabetes is getting difficult to control.
- Formation of blood clots in different body parts.
- Formation of fatigue in different phases of time.
What Are The Major Types Of Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer can be of many types and forms. However, in all cases, this disease is distinguished by tumors, mainly exocrine and endocrine tumors. Here are they:
- Exocrine tumors are considered the most prevalent cancer form in the pancreas. Adenocarcinoma is one of the major kinds of exocrine malignancy that is normally seen.
- Another type of such a cancer is the Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN). It mainly forms in the ducts of the pancreas and produces mucin, a viscous fluid.
- Endocrine tumors, also known as PNETs, are one of the rarest types of Pancreatic cancer types, and they account for only 7% of all pancreatic malignancies.
Prevention Of Pancreatic Cancer
The following are the ways through which Pancreatic cancer can be prevented:
- If you see symptoms of this disease in your body, try to stop smoking.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy diet will help you a lot in dealing with tumors in the pancreas.
- Working out helps in developing the metabolism of the body. However, do a controlled workout so that it does not affect the tumor.
In this article, you mainly learned about Pancreatic cancer, its causes, and risk factors. Furthermore, we also offered you information about the major symptoms of this disease and the types of such a disease. Furthermore, we included various prevention techniques as per the recommendations of experts.
However, this disease can be uncontrollable and can lead to the death of the person if not found early or if left untreated. What is your opinion on the role of the US Government in the treatment of Pancreatic cancer? Insert your answers in the comments section below.