Pancreatic cancer

Specialty of Gastroenterology

Pancreatic cancer is a disease that causes the formation of malignant cells in the tissues of the body that would produce juices that help digest food and hormones to control the amount of sugar in the blood. It is a very aggressive type of stomach cancer, overtaking at dangerous only colon cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer. Among risk factors include smoking, diabetes, chronic pancreatitis and some hereditary conditions. It is a disease whose early symptoms are quite subtle, so often diagnosed when it is in an advanced stage. Still, the loss of weight and appetite, fatigue, pain in the abdomen and back and jaundice may be warnings of this ailment. Treatment depends on the degree of involvement of the disease and if that affected only the pancreas, removal of malignant cells by surgery is possible, although it is very common to return to play. If the cancer is in an advanced stage, it can resort to chemotherapy or chemoradiation. Finally, if it has also spread to other parts of the body (eg causing stomach cancer or other organs) is well advanced and palliative treatments exist to slow the rate of disease progression.
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