Pancreatic Cancer: About Cancer, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention.
The pancreas is a small organ lying at the back of your stomach. It releases enzymes that aid digestion and produces hormones that help manage your blood sugar levels.
Several types of growths can occur in the pancreas, including cancerous and noncancerous tumours. When cells start growing in the tissues of the pancreas at a very rapid rate and their growth cannot be controlled leading to its spread in other parts of our body, it is known as Pancreatic Cancer.
The most common type of cancer that forms in the pancreas begins in the cells that line the ducts that carry digestive enzymes out of the pancreas (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma).
Pancreatic cancer, at earlier stages, is quite undetectable. And if diagnosed at this stage it is curable too.
But because of lack of symptoms, pancreatic cancer often goes unnoticed at first.
Later, when its symptoms become very evident and it is medically diagnosed through tests that your doctor prescribe for you, it has already advanced to later stages where its treatment & cure becomes difficult.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer:
Depending upon the pancreatic cancer stage, it may have the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- Jaundiced/yellowed discolouration of the skin or the whites of eyes
- Itchiness of skin
- Recent diabetes diagnosis
- Old diabetes that suddenly cannot be controlled
- Stomach pain that races up to your back
Causes of Pancreatic Cancer:
- Pancreatic cancer does not have a particular reason for its occurrence.
- The probability of you getting pancreatic cancer increases if your family has a history of pancreatic cancer.
- Certain other factors also increases its risk.
- Smoking doubles the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- Having excess weight.
- Getting low levels of exercise.
- Eating a diet that is high in red meat and fat and low in fruits and vegetables.
- Drinking a lot of alcohol over time.
- Consuming lots of soft drinks per day.
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment:
- Along with the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, its extent is also determined by the tests which are denoted in Roman numerals from I to IV.
- Depending upon the stage (extent) of the cancer radiation, chemotherapy or surgical removal of the pancreas are advised.
Prevention of Pancreatic Cancer:
There’s no definite way to prevent pancreatic cancer.
- If your family has a history of pancreatic cancer get tested periodically for early detection. Pancreatic cancer is completely curable if detected early.
- Smoking is the highest risk factor for the cause of pancreatic cancer. People who smoke are twice as likely to get pancreatic cancer than those who don’t.
- The best way to lower the risk of this cancer is to quit smoking.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are suffering from pancreatic cancer:
- You may not feel like eating but make yourself eat nutritious food. With this you will need all the strength to fight back and keep up with the treatments.
- Do not opt for raw fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid greasy and fried foods and instead opt for healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, etc.
- Do not miss any of your treatments or appointments. It is crucial to get the therapy done as per schedule.
Reach out to Infinity Gastro Plus Hospital where pancreatic cancer treatments are handled by team of expert surgeons under the skilled leadership of Gastro & Laparoscopic Surgeon, Dr. Ronak Malani – a leading gastro surgeon of South Gujarat.
Dr. Ronak Malani
Gastroenterologist & Colorectal Cancer Specialist