A general Concept Towards Panceriatic Cancer

A general Concept Towards Panceriatic Cancer

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Cancer has been more curable, and the survival rate has increased for numerous types of cancer as a result of screenings that can help spot cancer early and medical advancements. According to annual figures released by the American Cancer Society, the chance of dying from cancer in the United States has dropped during the past 28 years (ACS). Between its peak in 1991 and 2019, the most recent year for which data were available, the combined cancer death rate for men and women dropped by 32%. This decline appears to be partially explained by an increase in the proportion of lung cancer patients who are living longer after diagnosis, partly as a result of increased cases of early detection.

According to the ACS, "Approximately 49,830 people (25,970 men and 23,860 women) will die of pancreatic cancer. 62,210 persons (32,970 men and 29,240 women) will be diagnosed with the disease”. About 3% of cancer cases and 7% of cancer-related fatalities in the US are caused by pancreatic cancer, where men are slightly more likely than women to experience it. CNN claims, "According to specialists, pancreatic cancer accounts for around 95% of all deaths. Because there are typically no signs in the early stages, when the tumor would be most amenable to treatment, it is extremely fatal. When abdominal pain or jaundice are presented with, it is usually that the pancreatic cancer is already in advanced stages, and there are no standard screening tests available for it currently.


Understanding Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a gland that produces hormones and digestive enzymes that regulate blood sugar and the functions of the digestive system. Most of the pancreatic cancer is caused by cells that line the ducts, tubes that carry digestive juices into the intestine.

Of all the main malignancies, pancreatic cancer has the greatest fatality rate. After lung and colon cancer, it is currently the third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Because some of its symptoms may not appear until the condition is advanced, it can be challenging to recognize.


It's challenging to perform pancreatic cancer screenings

There is no screening procedure or early detection test for pancreatic cancer. Only patients with significant genetic risk factors are subject to early detection screening procedures. To develop early detection procedures for pancreatic cancer, more study and money will be needed. Currently, pancreatic cancer has a 9% survival rate. Only 20% of pancreatic cancer cases are surgical candidates, even though surgery offers the only hope of a cure. Pancreatic cancer will overtake lung cancer as the second-leading cause of cancer-related death if no new research or advancements are made.


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There is no screening tool for pancreatic cancer, like a colonoscopy or a mammogram. There are no good blood tests to screen for pancreatic cancer, like a PSA test done for prostatic cancer. For some people it is possible to perform surgery to remove pancreatic cancer, which is the only way to achieve "long" term survival, but under the best of circumstances people with pancreatic cancer live an average of 2-3 years after diagnosis, and only about 1 in 4 people who are able to undergo surgery survive to 5 years.


Signs of Pancreatic Cancer

In addition to the general signs associated to tumors (including weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue and anemia), pancreatic tumors can present by the following signs:

  • Diabetes mellitus

This is generally due to the affection of the exocrine portion of the pancreases by the spread and infiltration of the cancer cells. 

  • Depression

A link between pancreatic cancer and depression has been noted since the early 1930s. Patients with pancreatic cancer are more likely than those with other abdominal neoplasms to experience depressive symptoms, and psychiatric symptoms frequently come before somatic symptoms. Even after more study on this co-occurrence, it is still unclear exactly how the two interact. It could be crucial for the future diagnostic and treatment workup of these patients to understand what molecular factors contribute to the relationship between pancreatic cancer and depression. Various theories have put forth. It is plausible that depression is brought on by cytokines, more specifically IL-6, changes in the glutamate, tryptophan, and serotonin pathways, and antibodies that interfere with brain function directly or indirectly through serotonin.

When this link is considered, depressive symptoms related to pancreatic cancer have diagnostic significance. The discoveries open the door to the creation of targeted treatments, which will hopefully one day be used in clinical settings.

  • Cholecystitis/ Hepatomegaly

Bile can pile up in the gallbladder and enlarge it if the malignancy causes a narrowing/ blockage of the bile duct. Occasionally, a doctor performing a physical examination will feel this (as a noticeable bump under the right side of the ribcage). Additionally, it appears on imaging tests. Additionally, pancreatic cancer occasionally causes the liver to enlarge, particularly if the disease has spread there. During an examination, the doctor may be able to feel the edge of the liver behind the right rib cage, or imaging studies may reveal the enlargement. Eventually, this may lead to hepatitis, which reflects itself by pruritus, jaundice, light colored stool and dark colored urine. 

  • Nausea and Vomiting

This can happen due to the pressure exerted on the stomach by the enlarged pancreatic head.

  • Abdominal pain and back pain
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This can happen due t the enlargement of the pancreatic tail that causes a pressure on the surrounding abdominal structures causing abdominal pain, and it can invade the nearby nerves leading to back pain.  

  • DVT (Deep vein thrombosis)

Sometimes the pancreatic tumor can present by causing a DVT that may affect the lower limbs, where the affected limb may appear swollen and warm. The DVT can also travel upwards towards the lung, and it’s complicated by pulmonary embolism. Reflected by sudden breathlessness and chest pain. 


Risk Factors That Can Be Modified to Help Cut the Risk

Obesity, smoking, chronic pancreatitis, alcohol consumption and long-standing diabetes are all risk factors for pancreatic cancer. A family history of pancreatic cancer is the most significant risk factor.

Alcohol makes the pancreatic fluids thicker, which can clog the ducts and cause inflammation. We refer to this illness as "pancreatitis." Inflammation is a trigger of cancer. 

The chance of developing pancreatic cancer is roughly twice as great in smokers as it is in non-smokers. Smoking cigarettes is estimated to be the root cause of about 25% of pancreatic cancers. The danger is also increased by using smokeless tobacco products and cigars. However, after a person stops smoking, their risk of developing pancreatic cancer begins to decline.

Obesity is a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer. A BMI of 30 or higher indicates obesity, which increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 20%. DM type two (Diabetes Mellitus type two is also a risk factor for pancreatic tumor, and as we can see obesity , DM type 2 and Pancreatic cancer are all related, where obesity leads to type two Dm and this intern will increase the chance of developing pancreatic cancer. 

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