Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the pancreas. There are several different types of pancreatic cancer, but the majority are adenocarcinomas. Pancreatic Cancer is approximately the tenth most common type of cancer, but has around the fourth highest mortality rate. The prognosis for Pancreatic Cancer is typically poor, with very few Pancreatic Cancer patients going into complete remission, and only around five percent of suffers remaining alive at the critical five year point.
One of the reasons that Pancreatic Cancer has such a low survival rate is due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to diagnose. As a result, early intervention is extremely rare in most cases, resulting in significant challenges in terms of treatment. Early stage Pancreatic Cancer in fact tends not to cause any noticeable symptoms at all, while even late stage Pancreatic Cancer tends to show symptoms that are quite varied and that may be attributable to other conditions. The most commonly reported late stage Pancreatic Cancer symptoms include pain in the upper abdomen; nausea and vomiting and lack of appetite; weight loss; jaundice; and high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
There are a number of risk factors associated with Pancreatic Cancer, with many of them being individual factors. Of these, the most significant ones are advanced age, being male, smoking, low fibre diets, high-sugar that are also high in red meat, and obesity. Pancreatic Cancer also has some genetic risk factors, with those who have had a family member suffer from Pancreatic Cancer more likely to experience it themselves. Those with a family history of Pancreatic Cancer may undergo early screening for Pancreatic Cancer, and may be able to be subject to an early diagnosis, improving their chances of Pancreatic Cancer survival.
The treatment for Pancreatic Cancer varies, although it is largely dependent on the degree to which the Pancreatic Cancer has progressed. Surgery in the from of a Whipple is the most common type of procedures for Pancreatic Cancer at the top of pancreas, while Pancreatic Cancer at the tail of the pancreas can also be treated surgically. Surgery may also be used for palliative reasons, as it may help improve the quality of life in a patient. Palliative chemotherapy may also be used for this reason.
Given that Pancreatic Cancer treatments rarely result in full remission, those suffering from Pancreatic Cancer may wish to look to alternative treatments in order to help improve their quality of life, and to reduce the likelihood that they will succumb to other diseases or infections as a result of having a suppressed immune system. More information about such treatments can be found on this site.