Main Cause Of Pancreatic Cancer


What If An Ultrasound Shows Dilated Extrahepatic Bile Ducts

Pancreatic cancer symptoms and risk factors to know

Proceed to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or transhepatic cholangiogram to determine whether the obstruction is high or low in the common bile duct and to determine its likely cause . The biliary tract can be decompressed with an internal stent at this time, allowing liver function to improve before major surgery. If stones are present, endoscopic sphincterotomy should be performed, allowing the stones to pass and simplifying future surgery.

Chronic Pancreatitis And Hereditary Pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis increases your risk of getting pancreatic cancer, but isn’t responsible for many cases. Chronic pancreatitis is often caused by long-term alcohol misuse.

Although it’s a very rare condition, if you have hereditary pancreatitis, your risk of developing pancreatic cancer is 50 times greater than the rest of the population.

The #1 Cause Of Pancreatic Cancer: Smoking

People who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to get pancreatic cancer compared to those who don’t smoke. “One in five pancreatic cancers can be still attributed to smoking and most of that to current smoking, which is preventable,” says Dr Maarit Laaksonen, senior lecturer at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at University of New South Wales. “It’s not just that you are putting yourself at risk, but you are putting yourself at risk for quite a long time after you quit smoking I think that is one important message.”

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Pancreatic Cancer Stage 2

Stage 2 pancreatic cancer is cancer that remains in the pancreas but may have spread to a few nearby lymph nodes or blood vessels.

This stage is divided into two subcategories, depending on where the cancer is and the size of the tumor:

  • Stage 2A. The tumor is larger than 4 centimeters but hasnt spread to any lymph nodes or nearby tissue.
  • Stage 2B. The tumor has spread to nearby lymph nodes, but not to more than three of them.

Symptoms of stage 2 pancreatic cancer tend to be very subtle and may include:

  • targeted drug therapies

Your doctor may use a combination of these approaches to help shrink the tumor and prevent possible metastases.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan

PANCREATIC CANCER : Symptoms, Diagnosis &  its Treatment .

A magnetic resonance imaging scan also produces an image of the inside of your body, but it uses strong magnetic and radio waves instead of X-rays.

MRI scans are carried out in a tube-shaped MRI scanner. Itâs a noisy procedure that can feel claustrophobic. It also takes longer than other types of scans.

Like a CT scan, an MRI scan allows your doctor to check for signs of cancer in other parts of the body.

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Why Remove Gallbladder Duodenum And Stomach If The Problem Is In The Pancreas

After the ampulla of Vater is removed, the gallbladder does not function well and forms gallstones. The second and third portions of the duodenum share a blood supply with the head of the pancreas and are usually devascularized when the head is removed. Historically, the gastric antrum was removed to improve resection margins. Vagotomy was added to reduce the incidence of marginal ulceration at the anastomosis between the gastric remnant and jejunum.

Removing the antrum adds little to the scope of the operation, however, and marginal ulceration can be prevented by placing the gastrojejunostomy downstream from where bile and pancreatic secretions enter the gut. Thus, many surgeons now perform a pylorus-preserving Whipple procedure whenever possible, preserving the vagus nerve as well. A pylorus preserving Whipple has the same overall survival, is associated with decreased operative time and blood loss but it has been difficult to prove any physiologic benefit.

Jaundice And Related Symptoms

Jaundice is yellowing of the eyes and skin. Most people with pancreatic cancer will have jaundice as one of their first symptoms.

Jaundice is caused by the buildup of bilirubin, a dark yellow-brown substance made in the liver. Normally, the liver releases a liquid called bile that contains bilirubin. Bile goes through the common bile duct into the intestines, where it helps break down fats. It eventually leaves the body in the stool. When the common bile duct becomes blocked, bile cant reach the intestines, and the amount of bilirubin in the body builds up.

Cancers that start in the head of the pancreas are near the common bile duct. These cancers can press on the duct and cause jaundice while they are still fairly small, which can sometimes lead to these tumors being found at an early stage. But cancers that start in the body or tail of the pancreas dont press on the duct until they have spread through the pancreas. By this time, the cancer has often spread beyond the pancreas.

When pancreatic cancer spreads, it often goes to the liver. This can also cause jaundice.

There are other signs of jaundice as well as the yellowing of the eyes and skin:

Pancreatic cancer is not the most common cause of jaundice. Other causes, such as gallstones, hepatitis, and other liver and bile duct diseases, are much more common.

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Long Term Inflammation Of The Pancreas

Long term inflammation of the pancreas is called chronic pancreatitis. It is most often caused by long term drinking of alcohol. There is a link between having chronic pancreatitis and developing pancreatic cancer.

Rarely, pancreatitis can also run in families . It accounts for about 1 in 100 cases of pancreatitis. A faulty gene that you inherit from one parent causes it.

People with hereditary pancreatitis have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to the rest of the population.

Pancreatic Cancer: The Basics

What are the different stages of pancreatic cancer?

The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that makes enzymes for digestion and hormones that control sugar levels in the blood. Benign or malignant tumors may form if the process of cellular division in this gland breaks down. Malignant tumors of the pancreas are called pancreatic cancer.

About 62,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society . Pancreatic cancer accounts for 3 percent of all cancers in the United States and for about 7 percent of all cancer deaths.

The two major types of pancreatic cancer are the exocrine tumor and the neuroendocrine tumor, or islet cell tumor. They are determined by the type of cell in which they originate, and specific risk factors may be related to each type.

Initial signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often vague and include:

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Risk Factors For Pancreatic Cancer

A risk factor is something that increases the risk of developing cancer. It could be a behaviour, substance or condition. Most cancers are the result of many risk factors. But sometimes pancreatic cancer develops in people who dont have any of the risk factors described below.

Precancerous conditions of the pancreas include mucinous cystic neoplasm and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm . They arent cancer, but they can sometimes become pancreatic cancer if they arent treated. Some of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer may also cause these precancerous conditions. Find out more about .

Risk factors are generally listed in order from most to least important. But in most cases, it is impossible to rank them with absolute certainty.

Research shows that there is no link between coffee and a higher risk for pancreatic cancer.

What Are The Survival Rates Of Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

Early identification and preventative efforts may improve pancreatic cancer survival rates.

Although pancreatic cancer is uncommon, it is one of the types of cancer that are more difficult to treat. This is because symptoms generally do not appear until the malignancy is advanced, making treatment difficult.

Aside from being difficult to detect early, pancreatic cancer is lethal because it is difficult to cure. This is because pancreatic cancer tumors do not react as effectively to standard cancer therapy as other, less fatal types of cancer. However, there are therapeutic options available, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Treatment is usually a mix of these three treatments, depending on the type of pancreatic cancer and when it is diagnosed. A novel chemotherapy treatment combination has recently shown promise for patients with pancreatic cancer that has metastasized or spread to other areas of the body.

  • Pancreatic cancer is the third highest cause of cancer mortality in the United States.
  • The total five-year survival rate is only nine percent.
  • Pancreatic cancer is the 9th most prevalent cancer in women and the 10th most common cancer in men.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate per stage includes:

Table. The five-year survival rate of pancreatic cancer


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Why Is Pancreatic Cancer Hard To Treat

Surgery offers the best chance of controlling pancreatic cancer for a long time. But, most patients are diagnosed at later stages and are not eligible for surgery. Tests to find pancreatic cancer in the earliest stages are urgently needed.

As early detection study continues and as technology gets better, researchers predict that we will make progress toward finding the disease earlier.

Another challenge is that pancreatic tumors are surrounded by a dense tissue layer, called the stroma. This makes it difficult for treatment to reach the tumor. Researchers are studying ways to get treatment through the stroma to make it more effective.

Also, some cancers have been successfully treated with targeted therapies which block specific mutations. But, these drugs have not been developed specifically for pancreatic cancer yet.

Biomarker testing of tumor tissue and genetic testing for inherited mutations tell you about your unique biology. Results may align with targeted treatments that work well in other cancer types. As more studies are done, more targeted treatments will be developed and approved for pancreatic cancer patients who have specific genetic changes.

What Is The Pancreas

Pancreatic Cancer Stool Color

The pancreas is a small, hockey stick-shaped gland located behind the stomach. The main jobs of the pancreas are to aid in food digestion and regulate blood sugar levels in the body. The pancreas is involved in maintaining blood sugar levels because it makes insulin and glucagon, two hormones that control blood sugar levels.

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Types Of Pancreatic Cancer

When cells inside your pancreas grow abnormally, its called pancreatic cancer. Cells clump into masses called tumors. There are several types of pancreatic cancer. Each type is diagnosed and treated differently. It is critical to have a skilled and experienced pathologist determine what type of pancreatic cancer you have.

Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer

Early pancreatic cancers often do not cause any signs or symptoms. By the time they do cause symptoms, they have often grown very large or already spread outside the pancreas.

Having one or more of the symptoms below does not mean you have pancreatic cancer. In fact, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

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How Is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed

The doctor first asks about the persons medical history and family history. Then, they look for signs and symptoms of the disease. They might order the tests listed below if they suspect cancer. However, the diagnosis will be confirmed with laboratory examination of a sample of tissue from the tumor taken during a biopsy, fine needle aspiration, or surgery.

Blood tests: Levels of bilirubin will be checked. Levels of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 , a tumor marker, may be increased in blood if pancreatic cancer is present.

Imaging tests: Imaging tests help doctors find out the location and size of cancer and whether there is metastasis . These include:

  • Computed tomography scan
  • Positron emission tomography scan or PET-CT scan

Other tests include:

  • Fine needle aspiration cytology
  • Core needle biopsy
  • Molecular testing of the tumor
  • Germline testing

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

What is Pancreatic Cancer? | Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment | Dr Asit Arora

The diagnosis and management of pancreatic cancer is with an interprofessional team that consists of an oncologist, general surgeon, radiologist, pain specialist, gastroenterologist, palliative care nurse, and an internist. By far the majority of cases of pancreatic cancer are advanced at the time of presentation and these patients have a very short life expectancy. Palliative care and a pain specialist should be involved in the care of these patients. Coordination of education of the family by the palliative nurse or provider is key because survival is severely reduced in most patients. The surgery for pancreatic cancer is complex and technically demanding. Even those who undergo successful resection may develop serious life-threatening complications which may alter the quality of life.

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Postoperative And Rehabilitation Care

For patients with metastatic, stage IV, pancreatic cancer, discussions with the patient regarding treatment are essential. One can receive chemotherapy. However, the life prolongation will be at best months, yet affected the toxicity and effects of the chemotherapy. It is important to keep nutrition on the forefront of the patientâs care as nutrition can affect wound healing.

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Rare Types Of Pancreatic Cancer

Cystadenocarcinoma of the pancreas is a rare type of pancreatic cancer that develops from a fluid-filled noncancerous tumor called a cystadenoma. It often causes upper abdominal pain and may grow large enough for a doctor to feel it through the abdominal wall. The diagnosis is usually made by a special type of computed tomography Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Digestive Tract Computed tomography ) and magnetic resonance imaging ) scans are good tools for assessing the size and location… read more scan of the abdomen or magnetic resonance imaging Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Digestive Tract Computed tomography ) and magnetic resonance imaging ) scans are good tools for assessing the size and location… read more . Only 20% of people with this cancer have tumors that have metastasized by the time surgery is done. Therefore, cystadenocarcinoma has a much better prognosis than adenocarcinoma. If the cancer has not spread and the whole pancreas is removed surgically, the person has a 65% chance of surviving for at least 5 years.

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How Is Pancreatic Cancer Treated

Pancreatic cancer treatment depends on certain things, including where the tumor is located, what stage it is in, how healthy you are and whether or not the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas. Treatment options include:

  • Surgical removal: The cancerous part of the pancreas is removed. Lymph nodes near to the pancreas may also be removed. The surgery to remove the pancreas or part of the pancreas is called a pancreatectomy. If your tumor is located in the head of the pancreas, your provider may recommend the Whipple procedure. This surgical method removes the head of the pancreas, the duodenum , the gallbladder, a portion of the bile duct and nearby lymph nodes.
  • Radiation therapy: High-speed energy used to kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: This method uses drugs that kill cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy: Treatment to help your body fight the cancer. Immunotherapy has largely been ineffective against pancreatic cancer, but about 1% of people with pancreatic cancer and a specific genetic change may benefit from it.
  • Targeted therapy: Directed at certain genes or proteins that help cancer grow. Genetic testing is generally how we determine if a targeted therapy is right for you.
  • Clinical trials: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether participating in a clinical trial might be an option.

Other things to know about treatment:

In This Case Ultrasound Ercp And Ct Scan Show Dilated Extrahepatic Bile Ducts A Mass In The Head Of The Pancreas And No Obvious Cause Other Than Cancer The Tumor Seems Separate From The Portal Vein And There Are No Liver Metastases What Should Be Done Next

A Diabetes Diagnosis May be First Symptom of Pancreatic Cancer ...

Make an assessment of operative risk. If the patient is a poor operative risk, one should consider percutaneous or endoscopic US-guided fine-needle aspiration to document cancer, if possible, and endoscopic stenting of the bile duct surgery probably is not a good option. If the patient is a good operative risk, the next step is surgery. The clinical picture is accurate in at least 90% of cases, and FNA adds no useful information at this time. If no malignant tissue is obtained, surgery is still indicated because the needle may have missed the lesion, sampling only the pancreatitis that surrounds all such tumors.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Pancreatic Cancer

The average lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 64. A risk factor is something that raises the chance that you will get a disease. There are risk factors that are a result of behavior and that can be changed. For pancreatic cancer, these types of risk factors include:

  • Smoking cigarettes, cigars and using other forms of tobacco.
  • Obesity is also a risk factor. Carrying weight around the waist is a risk factor even if you do not have obesity.
  • Having diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity. The new development of diabetes at an older age and in someone with a normal weight or body mass index could be a sign of pancreatic cancer.
  • Being exposed to chemicals used by dry cleaners and metal workers.
  • Having chronic pancreatitis, a permanent inflammation of the pancreas usually associated with smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol.

There are also risk factors that you cant change. These include:

  • Hereditary chronic pancreatitis due to gene changes passed from parent to child.
  • Hereditary syndromes with gene changes in genes such as BRCA genes passed from parent to child.
  • Being older than 45.
  • Being of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

Your healthcare provider might suspect pancreatic cancer if you have certain symptoms or if youve recently developed diabetes or pancreatitis.

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