Pancreatic cancer can be characterized as any cancerous growth generated from pancreas, the gland located at the back of abdomen. Insulin hormone that controls the blood sugar levels in blood is produced in pancreas along with many other useful hormones. Presently pancreatic cancer is the fourth most life taking cancer in US. Every year in US nearly 28,000 new pancreatic cancer cases are diagnosed. The survival rate of patients with pancreatic cancer is roughly 3 – 5 per cent because in most of the cases the diagnosis is done when the cancer is in advance stage.
Causes of pancreatic cancer –
The specific and actual causes of pancreatic cancer are still to be discovered but there are certain factors that are closely related to pancreatic cancer, such as –
- Excessive cigarette smoking
- Environmental issues etc.
Symptoms for pancreatic cancer –
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer do not appear when the cancer is at an early stage. Pancreatic cancer unveils its presence only in the advance stage. However, the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer are –
- Unusual weight loss
- Pain in abdomen
- Back pain
Spreading of pancreatic cancer –
As the pancreatic cancer can grow for a long time without giving a single hint of its existence there is always a possibility of the cancer to spread to other adjoining organs, such as –
- Abdominal lymph glands
Diagnosis of pancreatic cancer –
When a patient is suspected to develop pancreatic cancer the first diagnosis method through which he has to pass is Ultrasound or UT scan. Then a step Fine needle aspiration is conducted to be sure of the presence of the cancer. The existence of the pancreatic cancer can also be detected by an endoscopy.
Treatment for pancreatic cancer –
Like most of the cancer cases there are three most effective treatment methods of pancreatic cancer – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The chemotherapy drugs that are generally used to treat pancreatic cancer are – VP-16, Mitomycin, Gemcitabine, 5-FU, Leucovorin, Cisplatinum etc.