What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most serious of cancers. Pancreatic cancer develops when the cancer cells form in the tissues of your pancreas (a large organ that lies horizontally behind lower part of the stomach). The pancreas is responsible to secretes enzymes that promote digestion and hormones that help regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates.
Pancreatic cancer spreads rapidly to other parts of the body, it not diagnosed early.
What does the Pancreas Do?
Pancreas performs two important types of job in the body. The first is to produce the pancreatic digestive juices. The second is to produce insulin and other hormones to do with digestion. The part which is responsible for the production of the digestive juices is called the exocrine pancreas. And the part of the pancreas that produces hormone is called the endocrine pancreas.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer often don’t occur until the disease is advanced. If they appear, they include the following:
Loss of appetite and weight loss – Weight loss is a common sign of pancreatic cancer. Weight loss occurs in most types of cancer because cancerous (malignant) cells destroy healthy cells of nutrients.
Itching – During the stages of pancreatic cancer, you may develop severe itching when high levels of bile acids, another component of bile, accumulate in your skin.
Nausea and vomiting – In advanced cases of pancreatic cancer, the tumor may block a portion of your digestive tract, usually the upper portion of your small intestine (duodenum), causing nausea and vomiting.
What is Jaundice?
Jaundice means the yellow appearance of the skin and whites of the eyes that occurs when the blood contains an excess of the pigment called bilirubin. Jaundice occurs because tumors in the upper part of the pancreas have blocked the outflow of bile from the liver and the bile ducts into the intestine. This causes bilirubin, an orange/yellow colored pigment, to build up in the body.
Pancreatic Cancer Prevention
It’s not always possible to prevent pancreatic cancer, these lifestyle changes may help reduce your risk of being infected with pancreatic cancer:
- Quit smoking – Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens that can damage the DNA that help regulates cell growth.
- Maintain a healthy weight – If you are overweight the risk of getting pancreatic cancer increases. To help reduce the risk maintains a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly – Exercise regularly, aerobic exercise helps reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer or any type of cancer.
- Include fruit and green vegetable in your diet – this can help to control the risk of any type of cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Methods
Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the most common treatments available pancreatic cancer
Surgery – Surgery is the most common form of treatment for thyroid cancer that has not spread to distant parts of the body. The surgeon usually removes part of thyroid and any other affected tissue, such as lymph nodes.
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is the use of high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells.