Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas releases enzymes that help digestion and produces hormones that help control blood sugar levels; this organ is located behind the stomach.
There are various types of pancreatic cancer, including cancerous and noncancerous tumors.
Pancreatic cancer usually shows no symptoms in its early stages, until after it has spread to other organs.
When pancreatic cells change their DNA, pancreatic cancer forms, when left untreated, cancer cells in the pancreas can spread to nearby organs and blood vessels and to distant parts of the body.
The cause of pancreatic cancer is not known.
Following are some factors that can increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer:
Suffer specific inherited genetic mutations
Symptoms can vary depending on the severity and progression of pancreatic cancer; the following symptoms can be detected.
Abdominal pain, this spreads to the back
Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
Light stool color
The dark color in urine
Risk factors that increase the chance of developing pancreatic cancer are:
Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
Family history of genetic syndromes
Family history of pancreatic cancer
Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer
The Oncologist will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms, lifestyle, medical history, and type of footwear.
Following are some of the possible tests that the Oncologist could perform:
Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer
The treatment provided by your Oncologist will depend on the stage of pancreatic cancer.
Common treatment options include:
A mix of all treatments
When pancreatic cancer is developed, and the Oncologist sees a low probability that the treatments will have a positive result, he will take care of alleviating your symptoms (palliative care) to make you feel as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
Living with Pancreatic Cancer
When you have already been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, follow the treatment provided by your Oncologist.
Some things to consider that could help improve the quality of life are:
Learn about your disease
Attend support groups
Assist with a mental health specialist; he will help you manage and deal with your feelings.
Attend your appointments with the Oncologist
Attend alternative therapies that help you relax, such as acupuncture, spirituality, art therapy, meditation, etc.
¿When do you have to see a doctor?
Make your appointment with the Oncologist in case of presenting any of the mentioned symptoms or in case of detecting another abnormal sign.
When consulting your doctor, we recommend keeping a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.
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