Pancreatic Cancer – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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The Pancreas cancer is a type of cancer that affects anyone besides being very dangerous. In addition,  Pancreatic Cancer , which is the type of malignant tumor of this organ , can have some symptoms such as  yellowish skin , itchy body , belly pain, backache or weight loss, for example, and the amount and the intensity varies according to the size of the tumor, the affected location of the pancreas, the surrounding organs affected and whether or not there is metastasis.

Most cases of Pancreatic Cancer have no symptoms at an early stage, or only very mild, making it difficult to identify. However, when these symptoms are intense or when other signs and symptoms arise, it is possible that you are at an advanced stage.

What is Pancreatic Cancer:

The pancreas is responsible not only for the production of gastric juice but also for the production of hormones such as insulin. Pancreatic ductal carcinoma originates from cells that cover the pancreatic ducts through which pancreatic juice is conducted until secreted into the duodenum. This is the most common and also the most aggressive type of Pancreatic Cancer . Other types, such as neuroendocrine tumors, are less aggressive and rarer.

The aggressiveness of Pancreatic Cancer comes from its usual lymphatic (affecting lymph nodes around the lesion) and also hematogenous (spreading tumor cells to distant organs through the bloodstream) dissemination.

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms:

The most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer  are weight loss, pain in the upper abdomen, jaundice (yellowing of the skin  and eyes). In addition, anorexia (loss of appetite) and varying degrees of malnutrition may be present depending on how advanced the disease is .

Jaundice is due to the obstruction of the bile duct (the bile duct drainage of  the bilirubin-bearing liver ). Due to compression or invasion of the bile duct by lesions in the head  of the pancreas, bilirubin builds up and passes into the bloodstream and its derivatives accumulate in the tissues leading to the yellowish color of the skin  and sclera, leaving the eyes yellow.

Causes of Pancreatic Cancer:

The cause of most cases of pancreatic cancer is still unknown. What is known is that many risk factors make a person more likely to develop the disease . Some of these factors affect pancreatic cell DNA, causing the growth of abnormal cells that can form pancreatic cancer .

DNA is an organic compound whose molecules contain the genetic instructions of all cells. We usually look like our parents because they are the source of our DNA. However, DNA affects us much more than that. Some genes have instructions for controlling cell growth and division.

The genes that promote cell division are called oncogenes. Genes that slow cell division or cause cells to die at the right time are called tumor suppressor genes. Cancers can be caused by DNA changes that turn into oncogenes or deactivate tumor suppressor genes.

Hereditary Genetic Mutations

Some hereditary DNA changes may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer .

Acquired Genetic Mutations

Most often, DNA mutations in pancreatic cancer- related genes occur during a person’s life. These acquired mutations sometimes result from exposure to carcinogenic chemicals such as those found in tobacco smoke.

But often the cause of these changes is unknown. Many genetic mutations are probably due only to random events that occur within a cell without an external cause.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment:

Pancreatic cancer cure is only possible when it is detected at an early stage. In cases subject to surgery, the most appropriate treatment is resection, depending on the stage of the tumor. In patients whose exams have already shown distant metastases or are in poor clinical condition, the indicated treatment for obstruction is endo-prosthesis placement. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy, associated or not, may be used for tumor reduction and symptom relief.

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