New Hope Unlimited has found that many times symptoms may be improved and possibly reversed with our alternative pancreatic cancer treatments.
Cancers of the exocrine pancreas is the second most common malignancy and the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimated an astounding number of 31,860 Americans diagnosed for the year 2004. It is sad to say that in our advanced age of medicine almost the same number of patients will die this year as the number of newly diagnosed patients. This is one reason it is so important to start considering alternative cancer treatments to increase the immune system at the same time of doing an anti-tumor program. his is commonly considered the most serious of all cancers.
Symptoms normally appears at the age of 55 to 65 years of age and occurs 1 1/2 to 2 times more often in men.
Contents of this article:
- Pancreatic Cancer Types
- Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
- Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors
- Pancreatic Cancer Prevention
- Diagnostic tests for detection
- Pancreatic Cancer Glossary
The pancreas is an organ located at the back of the stomach. It has a fish-like shape and a size of about six inches long but no more than two inches wide. There are two type of cells in the pancreas—the exocrine and endocrine cells. The exocrine cells make up the majority of cells found in the pancreas and responsible for digestive enzymes while the endocrine cells make up a smaller portion of pancreatic cells and responsible for hormones like insulin and glucagon.
When pancreatic cells grow abnormally and excessively, pancreatic cancer may develop. There are different types of pancreatic cancer and they vary based on the type of cell they developed from. Risk factors, treatment options, and diagnosis are also different for each type.
● Exocrine pancreatic cancer – It is the common type of pancreatic cancer and under it are subtypes, one of which is pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma accounts for about 95% of exocrine pancreatic cancers. Other subtypes are rare.
● Pancreatic endocrine tumors – This type only accounts for less than 5% of pancreatic cancer cases. Collectively, they are often referred to as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) or islet tumors.
Some growths in the pancreas are benign while others are precancers or those that eventually develop into cancer when left undetected and untreated. But with the advent of imaging tests, these growths are more easily found than before.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms usually go undetected during the early stages of the disease, which makes the condition crucial and challenging to address. In most cases, symptoms manifest once the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.
Here are symptoms of pancreatic cancer according to type:
Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer
● Jaundice – this refers to the yellowing of the skin due to clogging of bilirubun in the bile duct. It typically manifests through dark urine and skin itchiness.
● Light-colored stool
● Pain in the abdomen or the back
● Unexplained weight loss
● Appetite loss
● Enlargement of the gallbladder or liver
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs)
● Stomach ulcers
● Appetite loss
● Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
● Tarry stool
● Increased blood sugar
● The need to urinate frequently
● Weight Loss
● Irritation in the tongue and corners of the mouth
● Necrolytic Migratory Erythma
● Muscle cramps
● Rapid heart rate
● Heart murmur
Pancreatic cancer symptoms can also vary to where the cancer metastasized. For instance, if it has spread to the bones, bone pain can be experienced too.
The symptoms listed above can also be signs of other health conditions aside from pancreatic cancer. Once any of those become apparent, it’s best to get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.
The average lifetime risk for pancreatic cancer is 1 in 65, but it can still vary on certain risk factors such as
● Tobacco use – 20 to 30% of pancreatic cancer cases are deemed to have been triggered by cigarette smoking. A smoker’s risk is twice as high than a non-smoker.
● Obesity – Obese individuals have a 20% more chance of incurring the disease. More so, even people who are not obese but have extra weight around the belly may also be at higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
● Chemical exposure – Exposure to chemicals used in dry cleaning and metal industries also increases a person’s risk.
● Age – The risk to pancreatic cancer increases as a person grows older. The average time of diagnosis is 71 years old.
● Gender – Males are more at risk than females.
● Family history – Pancreatic cancer can run in the family. If you have relatives who had the disease, you may have an increased chance of acquiring it as well.
● Diabetes – Pancreatic cancer is common among diabetics, especially those who have Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is commonly linked to obesity, which is also a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
● Liver cirrhosis – This refers to the scarring of the liver due to hepatitis and excessive consumption of alcohol.
● Stomach disorder – H. plyori can increase pancreatic cancer risk.
Diet, physical activity, coffee, and alcohol have undetermined links to pancreatic cancer risk. Different studies have conflicting results on these four factors and their relationship with pancreatic cancer remains unclear.
There’s still no known cause of pancreatic cancer, which means that there are no definite ways to thwart the disease. But what you can do to keep it at bay is to minimize the risk factors you can control. Here are some of the ways:
- Avoid smoking – As mentioned, smoking increases your risk of developing the disease. If you want to keep this health condition away, quit the habit as soon as possible.
- Live a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and physical activity – While there’s still no known direct link to diet and physical activity with pancreatic cancer, maintaining a healthy life is still essential to your wellbeing. When you are in good shape, you can boost your immunity to curb certain diseases and disorders that can increase your risk to pancreatic cancer.
There are different ways to detect the presence of pancreatic cancer in the body, and these are:
● Medical examination – During consultation, your medical records as well as your family’s health history will be discussed. Your lifestyle and other risk factors will also be assessed. Physical exam will also be conducted to determine if there’s growth or swollen lymph nodes, jaundice, and weight loss. In addition, laboratory tests may also be recommended to determine whether your bile duct is clogged.
● CT Scan – It is a type of imaging test that generates intricate and detailed images of the interior parts of the body such as the pancreas.
● Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Another type of imaging test that creates detailed images of the different parts of the body using radio waves.
● Ultrasound – An imaging test that produces images of the different organs and parts of the body through sound waves.
● Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan – A type of test that helps determine cancer spread through radioactive substances injected in the veins.
● Biopsy – A procedure that involves collecting tissue samples to determine the presence of cancer.
Pancreatic cancer can be elusive to tests during the early stages, which explains why most cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage. But while that is the case, there’s still hope. You have a choice to fight pancreatic cancer. Let us help you explore your options.
Through the years, New Hope Medical Center has helped cancer patients. Please get in touch with us to know how.
● Benign – not cancerous
● H.plyori – a bacteria that causes ulcers
● Necrolytic Migratory Erythmia – a type of skin disorder that causes red rashes and swollen blisters