What You Can Do Now To Protect Yourself
How is Pancreatic Cancer detected?
Pancreatic cancer can be challenging to detect. It usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until it has reached a late stage and the disease is already inoperable. The only way you’ll know if you have pancreatic cancer or not is by having an endoscopic ultrasound performed at your doctor’s office. This test will allow them to look for signs of cancer in your pancreas. If they nd anything suspicious, then further tests may need to be done. These include blood work that checks for specific proteins called CA 19-9 and CEA, which are elevated when pancreatic cancer is present. Other testing includes CT scans, MRI, PET scans, and biopsies. Several new technologies are being developed, such as EndoVu, which uses high-resolution imaging technology to help identify minor abnormalities within the pancreas.
What Are Some Risk Factors For Developing Pancreatic Cancer?
Many risk factors are associated with developing this type of cancer, including age, family history, smoking habits, diabetes, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, gallstones, alcohol consumption, diet, genetics, and exposure to toxins like asbestos arsenic nickel.
Diabetes – People who suffer from Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than people without diabetes. About 20% of all cases of pancreatic cancer occur in diabetics.
Family History – Having one first-degree relative diagnosed with pancreatic cancer increases your chances of getting the same diagnosis. However, even those individuals who don’t get pancreatic cancer themselves still face increased risks due to genetic mutations passed down through generations.
Smoking Habits – Smoking cigarettes significantly raises your chance of developing pancreatic cancer. Studies show smokers have twice the rate of pancreatic cancer compared to non-smokers.
Obesity – Being obese significantly increases your risk of developing pancreatic cancer because excess fat cells tend to grow into tumors over time. Obesity is linked to other types of cancers, too, so losing weight could potentially reduce your risk of developing these diseases.
Chronic Pancreatitis – Chronic inflammation of the pancreas can lead to scar tissue formation and eventually become malignant. About 5% of patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis go on to develop pancreatic cancer.
Gallbladder Stones – Gallstone-related problems increase the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer by 50%. When stones form inside the bile ducts, they block the ow of digestive juices causing damage to the pancreas. As mentioned above, pancreatic cancer tends to start in areas where damaged tissues exist.
Alcohol Consumption – Alcohol causes cellular changes in the body that promote tumor growth.
According to some studies, heavy drinking leads to higher rates of pancreatic cancer, while moderate drinkers seem to enjoy lower disease rates.
Diet – Certain foods containing chemicals can increase the chance of the disease.
Pancreatic cancer – diagnosis and treatment
The most common symptom of pancreatic cancer is painless jaundice caused by fluid retention in the liver. You might notice dark urine, pale stools, and fatigue. Other possible early warning signs include unexplained weight loss, nausea/vomiting, backache, abdominal swelling, fever, lack of appetite, trouble swallowing, feeling full quickly after eating little food, and frequent urination.
Treatment Options For Pancreatic Cancer
Surgery – Surgery is used to remove the entire organ or part of it and to surrounding lymph nodes.
Sometimes surgery isn’t enough, though, and chemotherapy is required. Chemotherapy drugs target specific genes involved in cell division and DNA repair processes. Radiation therapy targets abnormal cells and destroys nearby healthy ones. Targeted therapies use antibodies against particular molecules found on cancerous cells. Immunotherapies involve injecting immune system stimulants directly into the bloodstream to boost the activity of white blood cells. Stem Cell Therapy involves removing stem cells from bone marrow and reinserting them elsewhere in the patient’s body. They multiply rapidly and differentiate into different kinds of specialized cells needed to fight off infection and heal wounds.
Chemotherapy – Most chemotherapeutic agents act by interfering with the ability of normal cells to divide. Normal cells stop dividing during periods of rest, but cancer cells continue growing uncontrollably. By eliminating their growth, we hope to slow or halt the spread of cancer throughout the body.
Get yourself diagnosed if you come over it any symptoms!