Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer occurs in the Pancreas which produces insulin and other hormones. It is located in the abdomen. If left undiagnosed, Pancreatic cancer can spread to nearby organs such as the bile duct, intestines, stomach and the liver.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is less common form of cancer. Patients rarely feel any symptoms in the early stages. Usually, only after the cancer cells spread to other organs, it gets detected. A patient who has pancreatic cancer in later stages may experience the following symptoms.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Burning sensation in the stomach
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Inability to digest fats
  • Spreads to bile duct: jaundice when the tumor obstructs the common bile duct
  • Gallbladder enlargement
  • Type 2 diabetes

Above said symptoms could be due to other medical reasons too. Hence it is recommended people experiencing any of the above symptoms consult their doctor to rule out possibilities.

  • Through the diagnostic procedure, the doctor can examine the extent of metastasis and the tumor size.
  • Assessment of Medical History
  • Physical Examination of affected areas
  • Blood Tests
  • Diagnostic Imaging tests
  • Surgery: The oncologist may recommend surgery and removal of the complete organ, gland, or tissues if cancer has spread.
  • Pancreatoduodenectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, bile duct, surrounding lymph nodes, small intestine, gallbladder, and part of the stomach, depending on the extent of spread.
  • Distal Pancreatectomy: The surgeon will remove a part of the pancreas if the cancerous tumor is localized in the tail of the pancreas.
  • Total Pancreatectomy: This procedure also involves the removal of the entire pancreas, performed when the tumor has spread.
  • Central Pancreatectomy: In this procedure, the middle part of the pancreas is removed, and the remaining part of the organ is attached to the stomach or small intestine to assist in digestion.
  • Minimally Invasive Procedures: Patients for whom a full surgery is not required, a less invasive technique such as laparoscopy is performed to remove cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: Anti-cancer drugs are targeted towards the affected area.

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