The pancreas is the body organ present at the lower part behind the stomach. As the name suggests, pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that involves the cancerous cells attacking the pancreas. The pancreas is the body organ that normally releases enzymes and produces hormones that ensure your blood sugar is kept in check.
Different growth types can affect the pancreas. Some of these growths can be cancerous or non-cancerous. The most common cancer type that affects the pancreas usually forms in the cells which line the ducts carrying the enzymes responsible for digestion.
In the early stages, it is hard to detect pancreatic cancer. As well all know, early detection comes in handy such that it will be easy to get rid of the tumor. The main reason why this type of cancer cannot be detected easily is that there are no symptoms during the early stages. The symptoms usually start to appear after the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.
The medic will recommend a treatment option depending on the extent the cancerous cells have spread. Some of the available treatment options include chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.
The Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
The symptoms and signs of pancreatic cancer will not appear until the cancerous cells have spread to other organs. The major symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pains radiating from the back
- Stool that is light-colored
- Your skin will turn yellow
- Itchy skin
- Urine will be dark-colored
- Blood clots
When Should You Seek Medical Assistance?
If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical assistance. Take into account that other ailments have similar symptoms. The main reason why seeking medical assistance is the best option is because the doctor will examine you and issue a correct diagnosis. If you have pancreatic cancer, they will formulate a suitable treatment plan depending on the severity of the condition.
Pancreatic Cancer Causes
You may ask yourself, what causes pancreatic cancer? The most suitable answer is that researchers and scientists are yet to find the primary cause of pancreatic cancer. Some medics have noted that inheriting specific gene mutations and smoking are among the factors that will increase your risk of suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Gaining an In-depth Understanding of the Pancreas
The pancreas is at least six inches long, and its appearance resembles a pear that lies on the side. The organ is responsible for secreting hormones, and some of them include insulin. The hormones will help the body to process the sugar present in the food you consume. The pancreas will also produce digestive juices that will ensure the body can easily digest food while also absorbing the nutrients.
How Does the Pancreatic Cancer Form?
When the cells in the pancreas experience some changes in the DNA, pancreatic cancer will occur. The cell’s DNA usually contains some instructions about what the cells should do. The mutations will then tell the cells to grow in an uncontrollable manner, and they will continue to live even after the normal cells are dead. When the dead cells accumulate, they will form a tumor. If the condition is not handled on time, the cancerous cells will spread to other organs in the body.
We have already looked into what causes pancreatic cancer. Let’s delve into the risk factors, which include:
- Family history of conditions that are genetic
- Chronic inflammation
- Is there a history of pancreatic cancer in your family?
Different studies have been conducted to determine the pancreatic cancer causes, and you’re at risk of being affected by the condition including a poor diet, smoking, and long-standing diabetes. There are also other risk factors.
Some of the complications associated with pancreatic cancer include:
- Jaundice- pancreatic cancer will block the bile duct in the liver, and you’ll be at the risk of suffering from jaundice. Some of the signs of jaundice include yellow eyes and skin, pale-colored stool, and dark-colored urine. When suffering from jaundice, there is a likelihood you won’t suffer from abdominal pain.
- Weight Loss- different factors will contribute to weight loss among people who have pancreatic cancer. Weight loss usually occurs since the cancerous cells will consume a significant amount of the body’s energy. While treating the condition, some of the side effects that you’ll experience include vomiting and nausea. Your body will also have a hard time digesting nutrients from the food since pancreatic cancer will inhibit the production of digestive juices.
There are instances when you might be misdiagnosed. Considering it takes a significant sum of money to treat such conditions, it is advisable to hire a cancer law firm. The attorney should be experienced and they’ll look into your medical records as they build a strong case that will ensure you’ll be compensated accordingly.
If your family has a history of pancreatic cancer, it is advisable to seek the services of a genetic counselor. They will look into the health history in your family and conduct a genetic test if need be, such that they’ll get to understand the risk of suffering from different types of cancer.