Cancer of the
is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and one of the most
difficult to treat.
is ongoing. Newer
therapies currently under study hold promise of stopping cancer
cells in their tracks.
Attacking enzymes and other growth factors
that pancreatic tumors need to thrive is one way researchers are discovering how to battle the disease.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms and diagnosis
forms when cancerous cells begin to grow in the pancreas - the organ
that normally secretes enzymes that aid in digestion and helps regulate
appear as abdominal pain as the tumor grows and presses against
surrounding organs. Sudden weight loss, or jaundice (yellowing of
the skin and whites of the eyes) may also occur as the tumor blocks
the normal flow of bile from the liver.
cancer spreads or metastasizes quickly. For this reason, symptoms
may not appear until the disease is in advanced stages when surgery
is no longer an option.
Pancreatic cancer treatment
If the tumor is caught early and is deemed operable, there are several types of surgery available to pancreatic cancer patients.
Actor Patrick Swayze and Apple
founder Steve Jobs are two famous
celebrities who battled the disease.
The most common of these is the Whipple
operation, in which part of the pancreas is removed along with surrounding organs such as the gallbladder and duodenum, or sometimes part of the stomach.
Distal pancreatectomy is a procedure in which only the tail of the pancreas is removed,
primarily used to treat islet cancer cells. Total pancreatectomy,
or complete removal of the pancreas, is used much less often since
the risks of the procedure are often seen as far outweighing any
While the medical
community continues to make strides in improved treatment, there
are known risk factors that most people can avoid to help lower
their chances of developing the disease. These include smoking,
the greatest risk known for pancreatic cancer. Other factors include
diabetes, excess weight or obesity, or a diet high in fat.
the Web, learn more about what you can do to lower your risk along
with additional facts & information on treatment, surgeries
& other therapies, available clinical trials, patient support,
plus the latest results from research studies in the battle against
pancreatic cancer ...
More about pancreatic cancer around the Web:
- Confronting Pancreatic Cancer - Get online support for pancreatic
cancer patients including the latest news in pancreatic cancer research
& clinical trials, detailed FAQ covering cancer stages, symptoms,
diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, the Whipple procedure, support
and related issues, plus survivor stories & suggested reading.
Pancreatic Cancer Overview - The American
Cancer Society explains the causes & symptoms, types of tumors associated
with the disease, overview of available treatments, key statistics,
questions to ask your doctor, and facts on new therapies under study,
with related resources.
information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.