Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms: Early Signs, Diagnosis، Treatment, Questions and Answers

Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst diseases a human can be diagnosed with. The reason is usually the fact that the vast majority of patients are diagnosed late, too late for surgery to be curative. Surgery is the only curative treatment for pancreatic cancer, and patients who are not eligible for surgery are unlikely to live for long. However, if cancer is caught early, usually before the clinical appearance becomes full-blown, surgery becomes a viable option and patients can be disease-free for years with much higher survival rates. In this article, we will talk about pancreatic cancer, its causes, its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and how it can be treated. Raising awareness of pancreatic cancer can help many sufferers pick up symptoms early on and save their lives.

Pancreatic Cancer

Our pancreas, the hidden organ:

The pancreas is a unique organ found at the back of our abdominal cavity. It is located just behind the stomach and is surrounded by various blood vessels, so its cancer can be incurable if it extends to invade them. The pancreas consists of a head, neck, and tail. The head is the part closest to the gastrointestinal tract and contains glands that secrete digestive secretions, while the tail contains other glands that secrete insulin and glucagon. Both of those hormones are crucial to controlling blood glucose levels. The pancreas had long been unapproachable by surgeons owing to its fragility and complications from its surgery. One famous surgeon was even quoted to say, “God placed the pancreas at the back of the abdomen so surgeons wouldn’t mess with it”. However, this view has long changed and it is now operated upon in many conditions with minimal complications.