The pancreas is a large organ located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. It is gladuale organ that is made up of tissues and ducts. This gland is part of the digestive systemin relation to the endocrine gland that is attach to the first section of the small interstine known as the duodenunm. When the process of digestion occur, the pancreas secretes pancreatic juice containg digestive enzymes to break down carbohydtes, protein, and lipids for nutritn absorption in the small intestine.
The pancreas also has a role with the exocrine system, producing several importsnt hormones vital to the human body. These hormones include insulin and glucagon. Both of these hormones help maintain a constant blood sugar level. The pancreas does its job very well but if there was a disturbance things may go severely wrong for both digestive and hormonal system thus, leading to Diabetes type 1 and 2 occurring when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to regulate glucose levels, pancreaitis which is inflammation of the pancreas due to smoking and excess amount of alcohol consumption.
Disruption of the digestive system affect the development of biles in the ducts and dysfunction of the gallbladder as well as other factors that may all lead to pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic carcinoma is cancer of the pancreas. It is consider a malignant neoplasm disease of abnormal mass of tissue. Normally, the cells in the body follws an orderly growth, division, and eventually dies off but when the process for the pancreas is interrupted cancer begins to form at site.
The most common type of pancreatic cancer is the adenocarcinoma arising from the exocrine gland as glandular cells in the duct of the pancreas but they can also come from the enzymes cells of the pancreas call acinar cell carcinoma. A small amount of tumors come from islet cell and they are classified as neuroendocrine tumors relating to the endocrine gland There are many other types of pancreatic cancer depending on whether the cancer begins in the endocrine or exocrine component.
Besides Diabetes and pancreatitis, some other pathogenesis that may lead to Pancreatic Cancer are genetic defects when there are abnormal cell growth that causes formations of tumor that may become cancerous smoking which is well known to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, obesity may result in carcinoma due to not excercising enough and obstruction of the internal body with the build of fatty lipids and as well as poor diet low in vegetables and fruit therefore lessw fiber and eating more red meat may develop the disease.
Other cause may include stress causing an imbalance to the hormones. Unfortunately, the manifestation of pancreatic cancer usually does not occur until the disease is advanced or has metasize to ther e places. The symptoms are unnoticeable depending on the location, the size of the tumor, and the severity of the case. Pancreatic cancer is ofteen known as the “silent” disease because of how hidden the symptoms can be even if it does show the signs are too non specific.
Tumor of the pancreas is usually too small to show any symptoms even if it becomes cancerous at an early stage and beginning to spread and grow it may still show no signs of any pain until the disease become more advance. When the tumor is at the head of the pancreas it can cause yellow discoloration of the skin, weight loss, dark urine, nausea and vomiting, enlarge lymph nodes in the neck region, back pain and stomach ache.
Being the most common area for growth of a tumor, the pancreas head may show earlier symptoms compare to other locations such as the pancreas tail or body even though its already in an a more severe stage. Other signs of the illness include loss of apetite, weakness and fatigue. When the cancer has spread then additional symptoms may show in the affect area. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer have a variety of other manifestation making it difficult to diagnosis the disease before it progress into a more severe case.
When diagnsosing pancreatic cancer, the physician will more likely ask to do a physical exam and discuss about family history of the disease if applicable. They will pay close attention to the symptoms that the patients might have. There are several examination that will help diagnosis carcinoma of the pancreas. These test include liver function test to detect the blockage of the bile duct obstructing the pancreas along with many different imaging system technique applied to help see if there are any cancer visible in the areas as well as to determine the extent of the disease.
Some common imaging scanners are CT scan( computerized tomography), ultrasound, angiogram, MRI(magnetic reasonance imaging), PET scan(positron emission tomography) to name a few. For a more accurate diagnosis the best way is to do a biopsy by removing a small sample of tissue from the affected site. Once there is a specific and confirmed diagnosis the doctor is able to determine the spread of the illness and provide treatments for the disease.
Also it’s always recommend find a second or third opinion from other physicians to make sure the diagnosis is accurate and to be given the proper care as needed. Once the diagnosis is made, the doctor can then determine the stage of the disease then prove the right treatment to the patients. Treatment for pancreatic cancer is far more advance in today’s society. There are many different routes of treatment option but depending on the patient’s overall health, the stage of the cancer including the size of the mass, the location of the affected area, the extent of the disease and whether or not the cancer is a relapse or a new diagnosis.