Pancreas is an organ that is present in our abdomen and performs following two major functions:
- Release enzymes to aid digestion of foodstuff
- Release hormones to maintain our blood sugar level
“The type of cancer which develops in our pancreas and spreads rapidly to other organs is called as pancreatic cancer”.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer cannot appear until it becomes advanced. Every disease has various symptoms some of which are visible to us and few are unknown. Pancreatic cancer has the following major symptoms:
- Severe pain in abdomen and lower abdomen
- Pain in back
- The loss in weight may be to a harmful level
- Become a patient of depression
- Loss of hunger or appetite
- Formation of blood clots at various points in blood vessels
- The color of the skin becomes yellow
- The white color of eyes may also become yellow
There are many causes of pancreatic cancer. Scientists are busy in exploring the risk factors of pancreatic cancer. They are not well aware of its major causes, but common causes of cancer are as follow:
DNA is the hereditary material in the nucleus of every cell. It controls the transfer of characters from parents to the child. DNA stores information in the form of a sequence of nucleotides in a gene. Every gene is specific for a specific character because it codes for the specific type of proteins and RNA. Proteins are very important in human bodies because they perform a vital function in the body. Some proteins act as enzymes; enzymes are biological catalysts that catalyze all the biochemical reactions. There are some important proteins in the body, which control the rate of cell division. If there is a mutation in a gene, a protein that will form will be abnormal and ultimately cell will lose control over its division. The cell will become abnormal. It will start to divide without any control and will lead to the formation of clusters of abnormal cells. Tumor or cancer is the cluster of abnormal cells that proliferate in an uncontrollable manner. Mutations can transfer from parents to the child or it occurs after birth due to environmental factors.
The cigarette is the major cause of cancer in smokers as well as passive smokers. Cigarette contains more than 4000 dangerous compounds among which 36 are carcinogenic (cancer-causing agents). It has estimated that in two of five cancer patients, the cigarette is the major cause of cancer.
Obesity is a condition in which there is excessive storage of energy in the body. In this case, a lot of fat is present. Like DNA, fat also sends messages for cell division. In case of excessive fat, messages arising from so many fat mixes and lead to the formation of abnormal cells.
We should take a simple diet enriched with colorful vegetables and fruits. Red meat, animal fats, and chicken cause cancer.
Other important causes of cancer are:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Chronic pancreatitis
Treatment of pancreatic cancer
Treatment depends upon the size of the tumor, its stage, the weight of the patient, cause of cancer and its type and health status of the patient. The choice of treatment is very important because the chances of recovery lie in the choice of treatment. Some important treatments are:
- Hormonal therapy
- Targeted therapy