Pancreatic Cancer: Why Is It So Deadly?

Pancreatic Cancer: Why Is It So Deadly?

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Despite being one of the rarest tumors, it is one of the deadliest due to its late diagnosis.

Pancreatic cancer is a disease that does not have the spread of other types of tumors, such as lung or breast, but has become the fourth cause of cancer death Worldwide.

The pancreas is located behind the stomach and in front of the spine. Its function is to help the body using and storing energy from food through production hormones, such as insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels and digestive enzymes to break down food.

Famous like Steve Jobs and the last Nobel Prize in Medicine, Ralph M. Steinman, have died of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow out of control, forming a mass of tissue called a tumor.

1. It has the lowest survival rate of all cancers.

Only 3-6% of those diagnosed survive during the five years following diagnosis. Although survival has improved for most cancers in the past 40 years, this is not the case for pancreatic cancer.

2. Risk factors.

The family background of the disease, the smoking, the age and the diabetes they are risk factors.

Studies show that not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, and maintaining a healthy body weight can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

3. Symptoms.

Pancreatic cancer can cause only vague symptoms, which will depend on whether the tumor is in the head, body, or tail of the pancreas, and which could indicate many different conditions within the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms include pain, weight loss, jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, changes in stool, and diabetes.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be very vague. Abdominal pain is a symptom in about 70% of pancreatic cancer cases, and jaundice (also known as jaundice) occurs in about 50% of cases.

4. Diagnosis.

Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in large part because no detection tools to diagnose the disease in their initial stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.

A early diagnosis is key. If patients are diagnosed in time for the tumor to be surgically removed, their chance of surviving 5 years or more increases tenfold.

5. Treatment.

Treatment options for pancreatic cancer are limited.

The surgical removal of the tumor is only possible in less than 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. When it cannot be treated surgically, treatment options include chemotherapy and / or theradiotherapy.

Ralph M. Steinman, Nobel Prize in Medicine.

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