Pancreatic cancer is considered deadly due to its low survival rate. Cancer of the pancreas rarely shows any symptoms at its early stages when it is treatable. There are no specific tools for screening it. Often, when a patient undergoes surgery, 30% of the pancreatic cancer goes undetected, leaving only a small subset to be removed. It can recur five years after surgery.
The risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include smoking, consumption of alcohol, type 2 diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, and obesity. Individuals aged over 50 years are at a higher risk. Tumors are common in smokers than nonsmokers. Only 5% of patients develop pancreatic cancer because of the genetic factor. A poor diet full of red and processed meat and obesity are other factors that increase the risk of pancreatic cancer because the pancreas produces more insulin.
The pancreas has three main parts, the head which produces digestive juices, the neck and body, and then the tail which produces insulin. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer begin to show:
- When the tumor is in the head of the pancreas, which affects the exocrine function and the patient shows symptoms of jaundice. About 95% of malignant tumors of the pancreas are adenocarcinomas and occur in the head where there is the first segment of the small intestine.
- They might also show the onset of diabetes if the tumor is placed in the tail of the pancreas.
- The jaundice is accompanied by body itchiness which results from bile salt crystals deposit under the skin.
- Because the tumor in the head of the pancreas obstructs the flow of the stomach contents into the small intestine, the patient may experience vomiting.
If pancreatic cancer is detected and the patient is referred for curative surgery, they undergo a procedure called Whipple, which removes the head of the pancreas, the first part of the duodenum, the gallbladder, and the bile duct. Surgery is done when the cancer is confined to the head of the pancreas. Other treatment procedures include total pancreatectomy, distal pancreatectomy, chemo, and radiation therapy for advanced stages of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most alarming and insidious types of cancer. The disease only presents symptoms during its later stages and makes it difficult to detect. Even after its detection, getting effective treatment becomes hard because it is often too late. As the third most dangerous cancer type, pancreatic cancer kills more than 90% of patients in less than five years, causing more mortality than breast cancer.
More than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year. The Texas Pancreatic Cancer Association Network has managed to save lives by undertaking a multipronged approach towards dealing with the disease and making sure that the people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive. The networks work tirelessly with patients and their families to ensure that they live healthy lives.
For them to ensure that they can prevent many deaths from pancreatic cancer, the association networks play several significant roles as follows:
- They use multiple fronts to approach the issue: The association networks invest in clinical initiatives and research as well as services geared towards patients and legal aid. The association networks community receives financial aid from a nationwide net of support. The funding is used to improve the quality of life for patients at present and in future increase the rate of survival as much as possible.
- They function systematically: Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer need to get the best treatment and improve their quality of life. Research is the only way this can happen. For research to take place and bring successful findings, a scientific community must be involved.
Pancreatic cancer awareness needs to be spread around the world to increase the knowledge of the disease and get funds to help in the search for a cure. The pancreatic cancer associations are doing this, but it also requires everyone’s participation.
The symptoms of cancer vary depending on the placement of the tumor in the body. But, one thing is sure, never ignore back pain because it is one of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer. In its early stages, pancreatic cancer symptoms do not show. Some signs begin to show as the disease progresses. Although symptoms are not a confirmation that one has pancreatic cancer, it is advisable to see a General Practitioner to eliminate any doubts or worries.
Here are the signs and symptoms that could indicate the presence of pancreatic cancer:
- Pain in the back or upper abdomen: This is one of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer. The pain starts as discomfort in the tummy area that spreads to the back. People feel the pain in different ways; it may begin as mild pain before it becomes more constant as time passes. After lying down or after eating, one may feel worse pain, which eases when they sit forward. The tummy area becomes tender.
- Indigestion and unexplained loss of weight are other early signs of pancreatic cancer. A progression of cancer may lead to vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and changed bowel habits.
- There’s loss of appetite and fatigue.
- New onset of diabetes in people over 50 years of age
- Jaundice: Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. If one realizes they have jaundice, or that the other symptoms named above are not improving after four weeks of showing up, they should immediately see a doctor.
Many other diseases and health conditions can cause similar signs and symptoms other than cancer. It is imperative that one seeks professional advice and confirmation from physicians if they experience any of the signs above. Furthermore, the exact cause of pancreatic cancer has not been confirmed. However, you can lower the risk of the disease by reducing alcohol and red meat intake. The chances of developing pancreatic cancer increase when a person gets older.
With recent studies linking gum disease to other illnesses that may occur, it can be highly beneficial to brush your teeth at least two times a day. One of these diseases is Pancreatic Cancer, and the maintenance of oral hygiene can ensure that your risk of getting the disease could be reduced.
- Gum disease connected with cancer of the mouth: Swedish research scientists have stated that gum disease is clearly associated with not only mouth cancer, but numerous other types of cancers in the body as well. If you manage to catch the presence of periodontitis as soon as possible, you can reduce the risk of getting other cancers in the future.
- These bacteria aid in the damaging of tissues, similar to that seen in cancer: Thanks to the sheer capability of the bacteria found in periodontitis to be highly virulent, they can spread throughout the body from the mouth. This may manifest as the mouth is inflamed, and due to this, the bacteria can pervade the rest of the body, all the way to the pancreas. Apart from it being vital to practice good oral hygiene, it can make a difference to your total health. Gum disease symptoms include bleeding when brushed, and bad smelling breath. It can also lead to damaging your jawbone, as well as an eventual loss of teeth.
- More than ten thousand diagnoses of pancreatic cancer pop up each year: There are more than ten thousand cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year. The disease manifests itself by pains in the stomach region or the back. Sudden weight-loss is also a symptom. The most prominent sign is when the eyes and the person’s skin turn yellow.
Columbia University recently received a 3-year grant to sponsor a single-phase clinical experiment of a precise medicinal approach to help in treating metastasized pancreatic cancer. The current treatments that are prominently used attack the mutated DNA which is assumed to drive the tumor growth in patients. This is mostly effective in patients who suffer from the commonest types of pancreatic cancer, and for those with less seen cancer types, it is not that effective.
- Reduced effectiveness of older treatment can be seen: In the case of pancreatic duct carcinomas, only fifteen percent of patients get benefits from conventional methods of treatment, and the others will either not show a response or show a relapse, due to the cancer showing drug resistance.
- New method studies the RNA instead of the DNA of the cancer cell: Due to older approaches towards treating the disease proving ineffectual, research scientists plan to conduct studies of the tissue specific copies of DNA of cancer cells, called the RNA, instead of analyzing the DNA. This should provide a better image, with better accuracy of the various genetic factors inside a tumor which promote it continuously surviving. The patients, depending on this analysis, can be given personalized treatment.
- More effective treatment by matching drugs with patient’s case: Going by the results of preliminary tests of the above method, the research scientists have managed to match one or more drugs to patients in eighty five percent of cases. This treatment is useful in identifying the different drugs which can reverse the actions of some hidden cancer targets. One of these is known as a master regulating protein which is responsible for giving cancer cells immunity from typical cancer treatments.
The grant is also being utilized for the funding of a preclinical study of patients of pancreatic ductal carcinoma, and developing an individualized drug treatment plan for them.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most insidious and alarming types of cancer. Since it doesn’t manifest any symptoms until its later stages, detection of it can prove extremely difficult. Even when it is detected, it is often too late and it may be hard to get effective treatment.
Pancreatic cancer is the third most dangerous type of cancer. It kills more that ninety percent of the patients it inflicts in less than 5 years and is even more mortality causing than breast cancer. More than fifty thousand Americans are diagnosed with the disease every single year.
Texas pancreatic cancer association networks manage to save a great deal of lives with the work they do. They have undertaken a multipronged approach towards dealing with pancreatic cancer and ensuring that the people it afflicts survive. They have been working tirelessly to help patients and their loved ones live healthy lives.
- They approach the issue on multiple fronts: To make sure that they can prevent as many fatalities as possible, these association networks play several important roles. These include investing in research and clinical initiatives, as well as legal aid and services geared towards patients. A nationwide net of support, aids their community financially and otherwise. Their ultimate aim is to improve quality of life for the patient both today, as well as in the future, and increase the survival rate as much as possible.
- They function in a systematic manner: The patients afflicted by pancreatic cancer need and ought to get good treatment, and thus improve their lives. This can only happen when there is research. Research in turn needs a good scientific community to thrive.
Awareness of pancreatic cancer should spread everywhere to raise the knowledge of the disease, as well as to obtain contributions to help cure it. The pancreatic cancer associations also do this.
The American Cancer Society says that more than 50,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year in the U.S. Besides, pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and is often diagnosed only in the advanced stages, because of the difficulties to detect the late symptoms. The oncology experts at the Honor Health Research Institute offer guided and detailed expertise to enable one to identify the symptoms right away.
- Types of pancreatic cancer: There are two kinds of cells in the pancreas, including exocrine pancreas cells and endocrine pancreas cells, which form different types of tumors. The National Cancer Institute states that most pancreatic cancers form in the exocrine cells, which make enzymes that are released into the small intestine to help the body digest food.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 95 percent of cancers of the exocrine pancreas are adenocarcinomas, which usually start in the ducts of the pancreas.
- Signs and symptoms: Experts opine that individuals with pancreatic cancer often do not experience any symptoms, making it extremely difficult to detect the disease. While not all people with pancreatic cancer show any symptoms, some may experience jaundice, unexplained weight loss, stomach or back pain, loose stool, and trouble digesting high fat foods.
- Risk factors: Family history and genetics are an important element, as are diabetes and obesity that increase the risk of the disease. Smoking and heavy drinking are other factors.
- Treatment: Diagnosis with pancreatic cancer has multiple treatment options, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or immunotherapy. Clinical trials for individuals at every stage of their pancreatic cancer journey are also available at the Honor Health Research Institute.
There are multiple options to fight pancreatic cancer, and support groups for patients offer incredible courage and hope. Knowing the procedures and symptoms is the first step to curing yourself.
Of all the major cancers, the mortality rate of pancreatic cancer is the highest in the United States of America. Statistics show that within five years of pancreatic cancer diagnosis, almost 94% of the patients die. The population that survives for more than five years is only 6%. Within their first year, 74% of patients pass away of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a lethal and deadly disease.
Charities and foundations have understood that it is vital to change these statistics. They make it their mission to find out precise ways for the early detection of this disease. The Texas pancreatic cancer foundation’s ultimate goal is to find an early detection method and a cure.
Foundations are not only focused on research and investigation. They also work towards raising awareness about the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. In the month of November, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated where foundations try to spread knowledge and understanding about pancreatic cancer and its prevention.
Even though the treatments of various kinds of cancer have been enhanced and greatly developed, there has not been much success in pancreatic cancer. This type of cancer is often diagnosed when it has reached its late stage, which makes it pretty hard to treat.
Texas pancreatic cancer foundations and charitable organizations want to give their fellow Texans hope and restore their faith that treatment and cure can be possible for pancreatic cancer.
The pancreas is an oblong, spongy organ located between the spine and the stomach. The pancreas is an important organ in our body because it helps in digestion and regulates blood sugar.
Cancer foundations are on their way in making groundbreaking research on treatment and cures for pancreatic cancer. Innovative treatments, such as targeted therapies and proton therapy are being developed and improved so that the chances of fighting pancreatic cancer become higher.
Texas pancreatic cancer foundations also participate in clinical trials. These trials are studies that examine new treatments to see if they are beneficial for pancreatic cancer patients. Foundations give pancreatic cancer patients, the opportunity to participate in these clinical researches.
These foundations run on the basis of charity and donations received from the public. Donations of any size are welcomed as it all counts and make a difference towards the eradication of this disease. Millions are spent on research, trying to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer has been deemed to be in fourth place for the cause of cancer death in America. Research and studies show that in a year, 37,000 people will not survive this disease. It has been found that from the number of patients detected with pancreatic cancer, 6% of them will survive five years. Those who are diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer will not live more than 1 year.
This disease’s ugly statistics brings about the need for extensive research and development. The importance of finding a cure for this disease has not been at the top of the list. Various pancreatic cancer foundations have been set up throughout the United States of America, especially in the state of Texas.
Pancreatic cancer foundations have devoted millions of dollars for various research projects with the hope of bringing an evolution in the research of pancreatic cancer.
Although there have been many noteworthy scientific discoveries and findings of this dreadful disease, a lot more still needs to be done. There is still a long way to go in understanding and uncovering this disease.
The importance of research can help to find an early detection pancreatic cancer test. Not only that, it can pave the way for much more effectual long-term treatments. Who knows, we might just stumble across a cure.
At present, researchers and scientist are carefully studying the genetic code and growth of pancreatic cancer. Findings show that cancer grows slowly and gradually. It was also discovered that cancer instantly affected the pancreas itself. Funds are now being dedicated towards more advanced and progressive diagnostic tests that are sensitive enough to distinguish and identify the earliest of change in the pancreas.
Time, effort and money are spent on enhancing new techniques and methods on pancreatic cancer treatment. New, effective vaccines are made to help boost the patient’s immunity to help fight against pancreatic cancer. Improved drugs are being created to help shrink the tumors. Injections that precisely target and aim at the cancerous cells are also available.
The public is highly encouraged to volunteer and donate towards this profitable cause in fighting to end pancreatic cancer. By becoming a donor, you can help provide a chance for pancreatic patients to fight against this cancer.
Facing pancreatic cancer is not easy for both patients and caregivers. Apart from the toll the disease takes on the body, it is mentally stressful and emotionally overwhelming. This is why Texas pancreatic cancer help centers offer more than treatment services. They create a network to effectively support patients and caregivers.
Benefits of joining a support group
- There is nothing more fulfilling than talking to a survivor. These people have walked a similar journey to the one you and your caregivers are on. When you ask them questions, ask about their experience and share your concerns with them, it will be affirming to hear from them.
- On those days that you feel like giving up and when you need a shoulder to lean on, you can contact a volunteer via phone or email, and you can get the encouragement you need.
- The journey of healing from pancreatic cancer can feel like a hopeless one. Talking to survivors will renew your hope and your determination to continue the journey to good health.
- New research indicates a link between mental health and pancreatic cancer survival. The research found that patients who had support were less likely to suffer depression and anxiety giving a higher recovery rate and longer lifespan.
- For caregivers, joining a Texas pancreatic cancer help center will equip you with all the information you need to learn about the disease, providing emotional support and catering to their physical needs.
- It is crucial for caregivers to take care of themselves so they can provide the best possible care to the patient. Through a caregiver support group, you will learn to ask for help when overwhelmed, and find practical ways to stay healthy and emotionally balanced.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, finding a support group near you will help you cope better.