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Pancreatic Cancer

This form of cancer is a malignant tumour of the pancreas. Each year about 37,680 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with this condition, and 34,290 die from the disease. In Europe more than 60,000 are diagnosed each year. Depending on the extent of the tumour at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is generally regarded as poor, with less than 5 % of those diagnosed still alive after five years after diagnosis, and complete remission still extremely rare. About 95% of pancreatic tumours are adenocarcinomas. The remaining 5% include other tumours of the exocrine pancreas (e.g., serious cystadenomas), acinar cell cancers, and pancreatic neuro-endocrine tumours. These tumours have a completely different diagnostic and therapeutic profile, and generally a more favourable. prognosis.

Pancreatic cancer is less dangerous as compared to other cancer types but the difficulty in detection makes it the most life threatening. If detected early can be treated successfully and the patient is cured completely. Middle-aged and older people are more prone to this disease and it rarely affects the younger people, and therefore the diagnosis is missed in them.

What are the symptoms?

Most of the pancreatic symptoms are also common to some conditions like gall-stones, hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, stress and adrenal cancer. The symptoms will depend on the position where the cancer is affecting. If it is affecting an area of pancreas near the bile duct then the symptom of jaundice will appear. But if it is not placed near the bile duct then the signs or symptoms will not appear until and unless it has grown and is spreading rapidly.

Nausea, abrupt loss of weight and appetite are the three early signs one should not ignore. A strange but telling sign of Pancreatic Cancer is an itching sensation over the torso section. Pain in the abdomen, lower back, constant tiredness and digestive problems due to the obstruction of pancreatic Enzymes are other symptoms. Also there can be black tarry stools due to bleeding in the upper intestine, darkening of skin colour, development of new hair, decomposing or shifting location of fat and arthritis.

The tests that are applicable to this pathological condition are :-

However not all of the doctors will necessarily use all of these tests, some may use less and some more. Specific patients may require different tests and therefore the final selection of any tests must be made in conjunction with a medical doctor.

We appreciate that some readers have yet to decide upon the doctor and if you would like to receive a short list from which you can make the final selection please E-mail us. It is advisable that you identify the suspected or diagnosed pathological condition in order for us to provide the most appropriate options.
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