Pancreas resembles a fish in shape and it secretes enzymes to digest food particles. Pancreas has endocrine and endocrine glands, and the endocrine glands of pancreas secrete hormones such as insulin in blood to control the blood sugar levels. Pancreatic cancer is caused, when the pancreatic cells have an out of control growth. Pancreas cells divide and form tumours. The tumor can be restricted to the pancreas and it is called benign tumor, and if the cancer spreads to other part of the body, it can forms malignant tumor. Malignant tumor is very dangerous and it can spread through the blood to destroy other body parts.
Metastasis: It is a condition, in which, the tumor grows and spreads to other body parts and it is very difficult to treat.
Pancreatic cancer can be of many types -
Adenocarcinoma is a kind of malignant tumor that affects exocrine glands. There are other forms of pancreatic cancer such as adenosquamous carcinomas, neuroendocrine carcinoma (islet cell tumor), giant cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Neuroendocrine carcinoma (islet cell tumor) is the condition, in which, the tumor effects the functioning of the endocrine glands, and ampullary cancer starts from the bile duct to spread into the duodenum.
1. Age: People above sixty years and men are at a high risk.
2. Smoking and alcohol: Smoking and alcohol intake may cause inflammation in the pancreas, which develops in gallstones.
3. Medical factor: People suffering from diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis and infection of H. Pylori, can suffer from pancreatic cancer.
4. People having pancreatic cancer in family, are at a high risk. Certain genes are responsible for tumor in human body. Genetic syndrome can also be affected through cancer to other parts of the body.
5. Carcinogen: Certain chemicals can damage the body cells and result in cancerous growth.
1. Pain in abdomen
2. Weight loss due to loss of appetite, bloating, fat in bowel, diarrhoea and jaundice.
4. Blood clots in arms and legs similar to Trousseau's sign.
5. High insulin in blood
There are some very vague symptoms of pancreatic cancer in patients and lack of symptoms in patients leads the patient to reach a higher stage of disease, when the cancer is detected.
The treatment of pancreatic cancer depends on the stage of the disease. There are mainly three types of stages. In the first stage, the cancer is restricted to pancreas. In the second stage (also known as locally advanced stage) the cancer extends to nearby blood cells. In the third stage, the cancer spreads to other body parts.
1. Physical examination, blood, urine and stool test is done to find out about the problem.
2. Doctors check the symptoms and examine through ultrasound, endoscopy, computerized tomography, angiography, barium tests, positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Biopsy can be done to find out the exact condition.
3. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are three common treatments used to treat pancreatic cancer.