Blogs | 25-July-2023
Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms Causes and Treatment
Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach.
As a GI cancer specialist at SSO Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, I understand the fear and confusion that can come with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
In this blog post, we will go in-depth into understanding what pancreatic cancer is, its symptoms, causes, risk factors, and the treatment options available at our hospital.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
The pancreas is a gland located in the abdomen, and it plays a crucial role in digestion and hormone production. Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas develop mutations in their DNA, leading to uncontrollable cell growth and eventually forming a tumor.
There are two main types of cells in the pancreas – exocrine cells and endocrine cells. Exocrine cells make enzymes that help digestion, while endocrine cells make hormones, including insulin.
The type of pancreatic cancer is determined by which cells are affected. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for about 95% of cases, is adenocarcinoma, which starts in the exocrine cells.
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Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms until it has grown or spread, making it challenging to diagnose early. However, some signs and symptoms can indicate pancreatic cancer, including:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Dark urine
- Light-colored stools
- Itchy skin
- Pain in the upper abdomen or back
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- New-onset diabetes
- Blood clots
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult a pancreatic cancer Surgeon in Mumbai for further evaluation.
Causes and Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer
While the exact cause of pancreatic cancer is not known, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing this disease. These include:
- Smoking: Smokers are twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as non-smokers.
- Age: Most people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are over the age of 65.
- Family history: Having a parent, sibling, or child with pancreatic cancer increases your risk.
- Obesity: People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
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Diagnosis and Treatment
At SSO Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, we use advanced diagnostic tools, including imaging tests, blood tests, biopsy procedures, and endoscopic ultrasound, to diagnose pancreatic cancer accurately.
Once diagnosed, our team of experts will develop a personalized treatment plan based on the stage and type of cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health.
Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and technology to provide the best possible care to our patients.
For patients eligible for surgery, our skilled surgeons perform various procedures, including the Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy), distal pancreatectomy, and total pancreatectomy.
Our medical oncologists are experienced in administering chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs, while our radiation oncologists use precise techniques to target and eliminate cancer cells.
We also offer palliative care services to manage symptoms and side effects, ensuring that our patients maintain the highest quality of life possible during treatment.
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Support and Care at SSO Cancer Hospital, Mumbai
At SSO Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, we understand that dealing with pancreatic cancer can be emotionally challenging.
Our team of counselors and social workers is here to provide emotional support and guidance to patients and their families throughout the treatment journey.
We also offer nutrition counseling, pain management, and rehabilitation services to address all aspects of patient care.
We believe in empowering our patients with knowledge about their condition and treatment options, allowing them to make informed decisions about their care.
Pancreatic cancer is a serious disease, but with early detection and appropriate treatment, it can be managed effectively. At SSO Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, our dedicated team of specialists is committed to providing compassionate, comprehensive care to our patients.
If you have any concerns about pancreatic cancer, we encourage you to reach out to us. Your health and well-being are our top priorities.
As a GI cancer specialist at SSO Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, I hope this information helps demystify pancreatic cancer, bringing awareness and understanding to those affected by this condition. Remember, early detection is key, and we’re here to help every step of the way.