Monday, September 8, 2008

Facts on Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system. It produces several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin as well as secretes pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes. It is a very important organ dealing with digestion and hormone production but unfortunately also vulnerable to many infections including pancreatic cancer. Every year about 33,000 individuals in the United States and more than 60,000 in Europe are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Early diagnosis for pancreatic cancer is very difficult because most of its symptoms are non-specific. The most common noticeable symptoms for this type of cancer are pain in the upper abdomen, loss of appetite, significant weight loss and painless jaundice related to bile duct obstruction. All of these symptoms can potentially have multiple causes, which is the reason why pancreatic cancer is often not diagnosed until it is in its advanced stages.

There are many different causal risk factors associated with the development of pancreatic cancer. These risk factors include age, male gender, African ethnicity, smoking, obesity, a high meat diet, and diabetes. Pancreatic cancer is usually discovered during the course of the evaluation of all of these symptoms. Liver function tests are often performed to verify if there is any obstruction in the bile duct. Ultrasound and CT scans are also used to scan the inside of our bodies and to identify tumor growths.

The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is not very good at all; the reason for this is because cancer of the pancreas are often not diagnosed until they are in some advanced and harmful stages. The average survival rate after being diagnosed is between 3 to 6 months, and the 5-year survival rate is around 5%. Pancreatic cancer has the highest death rate of all types of cancer and is the fourth highest cancer killer in the United States among both men and women alike.

There are several ways to prevent the development of pancreatic cancer. Smoking is the most significant and easiest avoidable risk for getting this type of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight and constant exercise is also another good way to not only prevent cancer but to keep your body fit and healthy. Consuming fruits, vegetables and grains and decreasing red meat intake in your diet is another recommended prevention. Vitamin D has also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing this type of cancer by up to 50%.

Pancreatic cancer is definitely a deadly disease and it is important for all of us to know the facts about it, the different symptoms it manifest and the ways of preventing it.

Lester Lee is the webmaster of, an informative website that provides the latest advice, info and updates on Pancreatic Cancer. Visit our site today for more helpful info on Pancreatic Cancer and other similar topics.

No comments: