Pancreas cancer is the 11th most common cancer in men and ninth in women globally.
In the UK, about 37% cases are preventable. Pancreatic cell develop mutations in the DNA, which leads to rapid replications of pancreatic cell that develops into tumor.
BRCA1 or BRCA2 and CDH1 gene increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is sometimes known as “Silent Killer”, because it does not cause any symptoms in the early stages.
Pancreas is located deep in the abdominal cavity. Most pancreatic cancer are adenocarcinoma. Pancreatic cancer grows without any signs of symptoms. Pancreas has both endocrine and exocrine function. Exocrine glands secretes digestive juices and endocrine gland called as Islets of Langerhans, involved in secretion of certain hormone such as insulin and glucagon in bloodstream. Crohn’s disease, gastric ulcers and gum disease may also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Types include
1. Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer
- Cystic tumors: Fluid filled sac in the pancreas some of these are cancerous
- Acinar cells carcinomas: Rare form.Tumors starts from the cell that makes pancreatic juices
2. Endocrine Pancreatic Cancer
also called as Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
3. Rare type of Pancreatic Cancer
- Pancreatoblastoma: Rare tumor. It occurs in children
- Sarcomas of the pancreas
- Lymphoma: Cancer occur in the lymphatic tissues
Treatment factors is based on the stages and type of the cancer. Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Removal of pancreas is based on the extent of the spread of cancerous cell in the pancreas. Whipple procedure is done when the cancer is located on the head of the pancreas. Distal pancreatectomy is the technique used to remove the cancer cell that is present in the tail of the pancreas. When the cancer cell spread to the entire pancreas a procedure called pancreatectomy is done to remove the pancreas including a portion of the small intestine, the gall bladder, spleen and a part of small intestine. Radiation therapy uses the high energy beam radiation is used to destroy the cancer cells but is rarely used. Chemotherapy uses the drugs to stop the growth of the cancer cells and used in advanced stages.
Pancreatic cancers have poor diagnosis