This form of cancer is rare, accounting for 4% of all cancers. Unfortunately, carcinoma – an oncology of the pancreas – has disappointing prognosis for cure, but recent studies show the effective use of radiotherapy and surgery. The improvement of medical techniques continues.
Causes of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic neoplasm in more than half of cases is observed in patients older than 50 years, mainly in men than in women. The number of such patients has been growing in recent years, which is associated with environmental degradation and a change in diet. Any part of an organ (body, or head, or tail) can be exposed to a tumor, and has its own disease code according to the ICD classification. Head cancer accounts for over 70% of all cases, the most common type of tumor is adenocarcinoma, originating from the glandular epithelium of the gland.
The direct causes of pancreatic cancer have not yet been established, but factors affecting its occurrence are noted:
- diseases of the organ itself (chronic pancreatitis, cyst, polyps, adenoma);
- Crohn’s disease;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- ulcerative colitis;
- alcohol abuse, smoking;
- hereditary factor;
- physical inactivity;
- harmful working conditions (work with chemicals);
- cancer of other organs;
Among the reasons, improperly organized nutrition stands out separately. The risk of the disease increases with an excess of fatty and meat products in food, excessive consumption of sausages, smoked meats. A number of cancer patients with scientific research have limited diet with a predominance of products with low levels of lycopene and selenium, antioxidants found in tomatoes, nuts, cereals.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Cells with impaired DNA inevitably appear in the body, with a decrease in immunity against the background of lowered defense mechanisms, they begin to actively divide, which leads to oncology. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer often often do not appear almost until the onset of the 4th stage of the disease. A tumor is characterized as an asymptomatic disease that is difficult to recognize at the beginning. Its clinical picture differs in different patients, changing from a specific place of formation in the organ.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer in the early stages often resemble the symptoms of other diseases with predominant pancreatic manifestations:
- abdominal pain, bloating;
- burning sensation in the stomach;
- diarrhea, the presence of fat in the stool;
- nausea, thirst;
- dark urine
- weight loss and appetite;
- lethargy, fever.
Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis
For a reliable confirmation of the diagnosis, differential diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is necessary. Conducting a set of initial blood and urine tests, liver tests can only suggest the development of malignant neoplasms. How to check the pancreas for cancer? The exact diagnosis can be determined by a number of examinations:
- Ultrasound of the abdomen;
- CT scan;
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging);
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography);
- positron emission tomography;
- endoscopic retrograde cholangiography;
- laparoscopy (biopsy).
Accurately diagnose a tumor allows advanced methods of instrumental examination. One of the main signs of oncology is the stenosis of the duct of the organ, but sometimes with chronic pancreatitis, differential diagnosis is difficult. The doctor makes a final medical report only on the basis of a biopsy, histological examination.
Pancreatic cancer stages
Tumor progression is classified into four phases. All these stages of cancer have a high degree of survival. It is noted that:
- At a zero stage of pancreatic cancer, the neoplasm is not recognized, there are no symptoms.
- The tumor in the 1st stage does not exceed 2 cm across. All types of operations are allowed.
- At the 2nd phase, the neoplasm is localized in the body of the gland, its tail or head without metastases to neighboring organs. The stage combines radio / chemotherapy with surgical treatment, distal or total of the entire organ.
At the 3rd stage, nerves and blood vessels are affected. The tumor is temporarily reduced due to chemotherapy. Combined treatment, suppressing the focus and preventing metastases in the pancreas, prolongs life for a year. At the last stage, cell growth is no longer controlled. Neoplasms cover the liver, bones and lungs. Ascites develops – a characteristic edema of the peritoneum in cancer. The distancing of metastases from the education center complicates the treatment, which only relieves pain. The life expectancy in the 4th phase is no more than 5 years.
Pancreatic Cancer Diet
Properly organized nutrition for pancreatic cancer is one of the components of recovery. Food must be boiled, baked or steamed with a minimum amount of salt, without spices. Smoked meats, fried foods should be completely abandoned. Weak coffee is recommended in small doses, tea is weakly brewed. Prohibited alcohol, drinks with gas, pastry and bakery products. Fatty fish is not recommended.
Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis
How many live with pancreatic cancer? Only 3% of patients manage to live five years after final confirmation. When a malignant tumor is detected, the prognosis for pancreatic cancer is unfavorable, not more than a year of life. The sad prognosis is explained by the detection of cancer in the late phases (70% of diagnosis) and in the elderly, and therefore radical removal of the tumor is not feasible and it is impossible to cure the disease.
Pancreatic Cancer Prevention
Measures to prevent a terrible disease are available to everyone. A significant role in the prevention of pancreatic cancer is played by a balanced diet without frills, with a restriction of spicy fatty foods and adherence to a meal regimen. Have to abandon unhealthy habits (tobacco, alcohol abuse). It is necessary to regularly undergo medical examinations, do preventive tests, treat pancreatic diseases in a timely manner.