BY Karen Lavender and Warren
Pancreas is responsible for producing insulin which regulates the sugar level in the body. All those who know what diabetes is would know the importance of insulin in body (and hence the importance of pancreas). Pancreas also produces pancreatic juice which helps in digestion of food. When abnormal growth of cells (malignant cells) occurs in the pancreas, it is called pancreatic cancer. Like other types of cancer, pancreatic cancer too is life threatening.
Cause of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is again one of those that happen to older people (generally those above the age of 60). Chronic pancreatitis, which is caused by consumption of large amounts of alcohol, can act as a predecessor of pancreatic cancer. Some people tend to associate pancreatic cancer to genes and family history but there doesn’t seem any concrete evidence to suggest one or the other. Generally speaking, pancreatic cancer doesn’t seem to have a relation to family history.
Symptoms and diagnosis of pancreatic cancer
Again, none of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are such so as to give confirmatory indications of pancreatic cancer. Pain in the abdomen, tiredness and loss of appetite are said to be symptoms of pancreatic cancer but these can really be caused by so many other things that it might not even occur to you that this could be caused by pancreatic cancer. However, if you are skeptical and want to make sure that everything is ok, you can always consult a qualified doctor to vet out your fears. Jaundice is another symptom of pancreatic cancer but this too can be caused by other things. So, really, it comes to proper tests and diagnosis to detect pancreatic cancer. The doctors would generally go for a urine test (for bile) and a blood test as the first screening tests for pancreatic cancer. In case these tests suggest pancreatic cancer, there could be need for x-rays and other tests (as deemed fit by the doctor).
Treatment of pancreatic cancer
As is the case with any type of cancer, the chances of survival with pancreatic cancer is governed by how early you are able to catch the symptoms and diagnose pancreatic cancer. The treatment for pancreatic cancer is dependent on the size of the cancer, the stage of cancer and your general health. A major consideration is the size of the cancer and whether it has spread around or is localized. For pancreatic cancer too, the best treatment is removal of the cancer through surgical procedure (and it’s a major surgery). Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are other ways of treating pancreatic cancer.
Warren and Karen have been involved in the internet for a number of years and run several websites. They are most interested in providing opportunities for people to connect with information relating to business, health and creativity. Check out their Pancreatic Cancer blog for more information.
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