Pancreatic cancer

Description of Pancreatic cancer

The pancreas is a gland behind your stomach that produces juices that help break down food and the hormones that help control blood sugar levels. Pancreatic cancer is characterized by a cancerous growth in the pancreas which usually begins in the cells that produce the juices.
Causes and Risk Factors
Some risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include:
1. Smoking
2. Long-term diabetes
3. Chronic pancreatitis
4. Certain hereditary disorders
Signs and Symptoms
Pancreatic cancer is hard to catch early. It doesn't cause symptoms right away. When you do get symptoms, they are often vague or you may not notice them. Common signs are:
1. Yellowing of the skin and eyes
2. Pain in the abdomen and back
3. Weight loss
4. Fatigue
Your doctor may ask you to get examinations done which includes:
1. Physical exam
2. Blood tests
3. Imaging tests
4. Biopsy
As it is often found late and it spreads quickly, pancreatic cancer can be hard to treat.
Treatments include:
1. Surgery
2. Radiation
3. Chemotherapy
4. Targeted therapy which uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells
NIH: National Cancer Institute
Content Details
Last updated on:
04 Sep 2017 | 03:43 PM (IST)
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