Pancreatic Cancer – Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatments

May 21st, 2012 by | Category: Cancer

The pancreas is a fish shaped small and spongy organ lying under the curvature of the stomach and deep inside the abdomen. Two major functions of pancreas are to produce enzymes useful for the digesting food and to secrete hormones, which help to maintain and regulate sugar levels in the body in a big way.

Cancer can start virtually from any kind of cell in the body. As far as pancreatic cancer is concerned – 95% of cases arise from the exocrine portion of the organ. About 75% of exocrine tumors start in the head and neck of the pancreas, the parts where the pancreatic duct runs just before it meets the duodenum. Like any other cancer pancreatic cancer is also caused by the mutations of a gene, which confer increased abnormal growth potential to cells.

It has been reported that approximately 30% of the changes giving rise to pancreatic cancer are caused because of smoking. About 7% to 8% are secondary to hereditary genetic condition or causes. Link between the onset of diabetes and pancreatic cancer has also very mild. Neither does it appear that there is any major link between pancreatic adenocarcinoma and the drinking of alcohol or of coffee. The studies are going on to find out more about it in the research institutes.

The most common organs of metastasis of pancreatic Aden carcinoma are the liver, the peritoneum and the lungs.

The most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include loss-of-appetite, weight loss, abdominal discomfort and nausea. These are all very general symptoms; and that is the cause of delay in most cases in visiting the doctor for a check up. But the most common physical sign of pancreatic cancer is jaundice. Jaundice can affect accompanied with or without itching.

The treatments for pancreatic cancer include, surgical and non-surgical procedures, alternative therapies, some new treatments for local and advanced form of pancreatic are also available and under study.

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