Pancreatic cancer affects the pancreas which is an organ that is responsible for the production of enzymes which aids in the digestion of fats in the body. It also produces insulin and glucagon which controls the blood sugar levels and in cases of deficiencies you can get diabetes disease. The cause of this type of cancer has not been discovered but there are risk factors that attract the development of cancer cells in the body. They include: smoking, family history, race as it is common among African Americans as compared to other races, age in most cases when you are above 60 years of age, chronic pancreatitis caused by excessive alcohol or gall stones and diabetes. It is also very common in males than in females.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
The symptoms will begin to manifest as the tumor cells multiply and spread to other organs such as the lymph nodes. It is highly recommended that you attend regular medical screenings for early detection of cancer cells in the body. This will immensely increase the survival rates by over ninety percent. They are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite which leads to weight loss, fatigue, diarrhea, itching back and abdomen and jaundice. Visiting a health care provider will enable you find the exact causes of the symptoms since they are also linked to other ailments and disorders.
The doctor will undertake a number of test procedures to determine the progression of the disease in the pancreas. A physical exam will be done which includes an analysis of the family and personal medical histories. Urine and stool tests are also done to check for a chemical that is released into the blood by the cancer cells developing in the pancreas. Other tests include: CT scans which is done on the abdomen to check on the tumor size, Ultra sound will show visual images of the pancreas and point out any abnormalities, X-rays, Angiogram, MRI Scans and biopsy. After diagnosis, the doctor will be able to see the extent of the cancer growth in the pancreas. This is usually checked in stages using a method called the TNM (Tumor, Node, Metastasis system which T will show the size of the tumor, N the extent of the spread while M will indicate if the tumor has metastasized meaning spread to other organs surrounding the pancreas. The early the diagnosis, the higher the survival rates because the tumor cells will still be contained in the pancreas.
Posted by on May.24, 2011, under information