He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What is Pancreatic Cancer?
- What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?
- What are the Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer?
- How is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of Pancreatic Cancer?
- What is the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer?
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
The growth of cancer cells in the pancreas is termed pancreatic cancer. The most common type of pancreatic cancer is pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, in the cells that line the pancreatic ducts.
What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?
The etiology of most pancreatic cancers is not known yet.
It is a cell’s DNA that carries instructions to teach it what to do. Pancreatic cancer develops when the DNA of healthy cells undergoes mutations. With time, the cancer cells can grow to invade and destroy normal tissue nearby. They can also travel to other body parts to form deposits there (metastasis). Certain risk factors include:
- Regular smoking
- Certain specific gene mutations like BRCA2 gene mutation
- Syndromes such as familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome and Lynch syndrome
- Pancreatic cancer history in the family
- Age above 65
What are the Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer?
Generally, pancreatic cancer symptoms do not appear until the illness has progressed. The clinical features include:
- Back discomfort that originates in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Unexpected weight loss
- Light coloured stools
- Urine with a dark colour
- Skin irritation
- Newly diagnosed diabetes or diabetes that is difficult to manage
How is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed?
- Imaging tests: MRI, CT scan and PET Scan can be done to view the internal picture of the abdomen. It helps visualise internal organs properly.
- Endoscopy: A flexible, lighted tube is inserted through the mouth to view the gastrointestinal tract.
- Biopsy: A small piece of the suspicious tissue is taken to study under the microscope to view the cellular changes, if any. It can be done along with endoscopy.
- Blood tests can be done to spot specific enzymes. CA19-9 is a tumour marker test used in pancreatic cancer. It might help to figure out how cancer reacts to therapy. However, because some persons with pancreatic cancer do not have increased CA19-9 levels, the test isn’t always accurate, making it less useful.
What are the Complications of Pancreatic Cancer?
The progression of pancreatic cancer can lead to consequences such as:
- Weight loss: It is difficult to eat due to nausea and vomiting induced by cancer therapies or a tumour pushing on your stomach. Also, the pancreas cannot produce enough digestive fluids, causing the body to have trouble digesting nutrients from food.
- Jaundice: Jaundice can be caused by pancreatic cancer that restricts the bile duct in the liver. The yellow complexion, black urine, and pale faeces are all signs of the disease. Jaundice is commonly accompanied with a stomach ache.
- Bowel obstruction: Pancreatic cancer can spread to the first segment of the small intestine (duodenum) and might obstruct the passage of digested food from the stomach to the intestines.
- Severe pain: Cancer cells might pressure specific nerves that trigger pain.
What is the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer treatment, like many malignancies, is more likely to be successful if found early. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is generally already advanced by the time it is detected due to the lack of symptoms and can spread throughout other organs. Many factors influence pancreatic cancer treatment, including the disease’s stage and the patient’s general condition.
- Surgery: The pancreas may be partially or entirely removed.
- Radiation treatment: Radiation is used to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy. Drugs that kill cancer cells everywhere over the body, usually in conjunction with radiation therapy or surgery.
- Targeted therapy: Includes new treatments targeting specific aspects of cancer to curb cancer growth and spread.
- Immunotherapy: Aids the immune system in its fight against cancer cells.
- Photodynamic treatment: A particular laser light is used to target cancer cells.
- Electrocoagulation: Electric current is used to kill cancer cells.
- Cryotherapy: Freezes cancer cells to aid tumour shrinkage.