Pancreatic cancer is a rare type of cancer, which, as the name suggests, affects the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ vital to the functioning of our body. The cancer is hazardous as its symptoms are non-specific, and is identified at later stages, while cancer has mostly has spread to most of the digestive system.
This article is aimed at informing you about various symptoms, treatment, and risk factors about pancreatic cancer. Before we get to that, we must know a little basic.
What is Pancreas?
- It is a small gland organ located in the upper abdomen
- Its primary function is to produce several enzymes and hormones that help in digestive and hormonal functions. E.g., insulin is a hormone that is used to regulate sugar in our body.
- There are two main parts of the pancreas
Exocrine: – Part involved with the production of enzymes.
Endocrine: – Part involved with the production of hormones like insulin.
What is cancer?
In our bodies, millions of cells die every day. There is a specific protein in our cells that instruct our cells when it is time to self-destruct. But, sometimes, our cells disobey and form cancer or tumor cells. They reproduce uncontrollably consuming body resources and disruptive normal bodily functions.
The problem with a cancer cell is that it spread to different parts of our body and grows. It becomes more difficult to cure them if they are identified at later stages because cancer cells are difficult to eradicate without harming healthy cells.
Now that we know the basics, we can move on to understand pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer occurs in the tissues of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer can be divided broadly into two types: –
- Exocrine Tumours
- Endocrine Tumours
These are further classified into location and type of cell affected, but it’s not that important to know.
Symptoms of Pancreatic cancer are:-
- Weight Loss
- Itching Skin, and
- Decreased Appetite.
Individual specific symptoms may include back pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, painless jaundice, bowel obstruction.
- Or a combination of the above methods.
According to your condition, your doctor knows the best. Always listen and follow your doctor’s advice. Other than treatment, pancreatic cancer hampers many other body functions. In many cases, the doctor aims to ensure healthy body functions and to provide relief for the pain. Medication is provided for the same.
The chances of pancreatic cancer increases if you are:-
- Smoking: – Smoking is associated with nearly every cancer, and it causes many more diseases. Quitting smoking is easier said than done.
- Above the age of 55: – The chances of nearly all diseases increase with age. It is natural as our bodies get old, and our cells slowly start to degenerate. The only way to deal with old age is to stay healthy and remain as active as possible.
- Family History: – If some family members have contracted some form of pancreatic cancer, then there are chances that you might have them too.
- Diabetes: – During diabetes, there is pressure on the pancreas to produce higher levels of insulin, which have been linked with causing pancreatic cancer.
- Pancreatitis: – It is a condition when digestive enzymes start digesting the pancreas themselves. It can be caused due to alcohol consumption, injury, gallstones, infection, etc.
- Unhealthy: – Bad health like smoking can cause many diseases directly and indirectly.
Man of the cases pancreatic cancer is often identified at later stages when the percentage of success is quite low. This is because pancreatic cancer is very rare. The symptoms are also non-specific. If you feel that family members have the same sort of pancreatic cancer or you had past cases of pancreatitis or any other diseases of the pancreas, then you must inform Dr. Vikas Goswami.
Know that if you are having all these symptoms and some of the risk factors, that doesn’t mean you will have cancer. Many people often misinterpret the meaning of signs. What condition you have can only be determined by your doctor. This article is aimed at providing some guidance and knowledge about pancreatic cancer, nothing more.
Even if you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, don’t stress yourself. Visit the best cancer hospital in Noida and believe in yourself and the treatment.