What causes pancreatic cancer?
The exact reasons for the cell damage that cause pancreatic cells to become cancerous are not known.
Author: Jonathan Meddings
First answered: 20 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.7/5 Votes: 279
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The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach that produces digestive enzymes. When pancreatic cells grow and divide abnormally, they can form a tumor and turn cancerous.
Pancreatic cancers can be exocrine or endocrine. Exocrine cancers (cancers of the exocrine pancreas) are the most common type of pancreatic cancer. They occur in the exocrine glands that produce pancreatic juices, which are released into the …
Pancreatic cancer is ultimately diagnosed by a pathologist who examines a biopsy. Prior to that, diagnostic tests include blood tests, CT, MRI and PET scans, endoscopy, laparoscopy and by a tissue biopsy sent to pathology.
Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapy are the treatment options for pancreatic cancer.
Surgery for pancreatic cancer is possible only when the tumor has not spread to major nerves, blood vessels or other organs. It is not recommended for stage III and IV cancers.
If the cancer is in the head of the pancreas, the Whipple operation is performed. This is where a portion of the gall bladder, bile ducts and sometimes stomach are removed. If the cancer is in the tail end of the pancreas, a procedure …
Unfortunately, replacing the pancreas would not clear pancreatic cancer, because most cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed after they have already spread. The cancer would also likely return, because to have an organ …
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss and paler stool color.