Pancreatic cancer symptoms treatment, diet and pancreatic surgery

Pancreatic cancer symptoms and treatment

Pancreatic cancer symptoms are most often detected very late, and the rate of healing in these cases is very low, it contributes to the very aggressive nature of the cancer. In 85 percent of cases the pancreatic cancer is not detected early then the chances of survival for patients are very low.

Pancreatic cancer comes on eighth place when it comes to death toll.

What is the function of the pancreas?

The pancreas is a large gland with internal and external secretion (endocrine-exocrine), it is located deep in the upper part of the abdomen, between the stomach and the spine, it is about 15 cm long, and it looks like a tadpole. Its widest part is called the head of the pancreas and is located next to the small intestine, on the right side of the abdomen, the middle part is called the body of the pancreas, while narrow, elongated portion that is adjacent to the spleen is called the tail of the pancreas.

Its exocrine (external) function refers to the production of pancreatic juice containing enzymes (trypsin, chymotrypsin, lipase and amylase) are responsible for the decomposition of protein, fat and carbohydrate food into small molecules to make them easily absorbed by the body. Endocrine function involves secretion of the hormone insulin and glucagon whose effects are antagonistic.
They are produced by endocrine cells grouped in the so-called Langerhans islets, scattered on the exocrine pancreas, the most of it is in its tail. Insulin allows sugar storage in cells, which is used as an energy source. When you increase the concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood, it leads to increased insulin production and lowering of glucose. However, due to alterations in insulin secretion or insulin resistance (the cells do not respond to insulin action), hyperglycemia occurs, it is the accumulation of glucose in the blood, which causes diabetes.

What types of pancreatic cancer exist?

Pancreatic cancer is the most commonly malignant and it may be a primary (found in the pancreas) or secondary cancer of the pancreas (when tumors spread to other organs). Pancreatic cancer is most commonly developed in a head area (65%) of pancreas, followed by those in the area of ​​the body (30 %), and least frequently affected is the tail (5%).
Exocrine tumors (develop in cells that secrete enzymes) are far more common (95%), but the most common is:

Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas

It is a tumor of epithelial tissue gland. This type of malignant tissue develops in the cells around the canal network which digestive juices carry it to the main drainage of the pancreatic duct, from which it flows into the duodenum. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is on the 11th place on the list of the most common malignancies, and according to the mortality is in fifth place.

Endocrine tumors are also called neuroendocrine and grow much slower than that of exocrine and may be functional and non-functional. First ones secrete hormones that cause specific clinical symptoms, while the nonfunctional tumors do not show any problems.
Pancreatic cancer; SYMPTOMS

Before entering the advanced stage the pancreatic cancer does not show symptoms, or they are they negligible. In advanced stages in 75% of patients it comes to weight loss and severe pain in the upper abdomen and back, which spreads to the shoulder blades. Their intensity is increased after meals or when lying down and giving in when bending forward. The clinical symptoms of pancreatic cancer are fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia (non-specific digestive symptoms as bloating, belching, frequent gas), the sudden emergence of diabetes, anorexia and depression.

Tumors of the body and tail of pancreas are detected late, because they cause general disturbance which do not indicate directly to the disease of this organ. Cancer of the head of the pancreas can be diagnosed earlier because it manifests jaundice, hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver), painful sensitivity of the abdomen, increased gallbladder, white or grayish stools and dark urine. In about 25% of cases, pancreatic cancer can be felt by pressing on the abdomen.

Pancreatic cancer; FORECAST

Problems arise only in an advanced stage, when a pancreatic tumor cannot be removed by surgery. After the diagnosing of the disease, more than 95% of people die in the next two years, because pancreatic cancer metastasizes to the surrounding organs, primarily the liver and lungs.

If there is no application of therapy, the patient dies within three to six months, while only 4% of treated patients survive five years. The most commonly affects are older adults between 60 and 70 years of age, more common is pancreatic cancer in men than in women (men are 30% more likely to develop it), as well as in black people compared to white people.

Pancreatic cancer; CAUSES

Pancreatic cancer affects an average of one out of 76 people. The main risk factors are advanced age, cigarette smoking, a diet rich in saturated fats and red meat and low in fruits and vegetables, obesity (people whose body mass index is above 30 are more likely to develop cancer of the pancreas), lack of physical activity, as well as earlier diseases like pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas, diabetes, and liver cirrhosis.

Most at risk are people whose immediate family recorded cases of patients with pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer, polyposis of colon, hereditary pancreatitis and melanoma.

Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

The most reliable method of diagnosis of cancer is the CT (computed tomography), which detects pancreatic cancer in 75% of cases. If the cancer has metastasized, or it is impossible to operate, conducted is skin prick needle aspiration for histological analysis (taking a sample of tissue of the pancreas by passing the needle through the skin).

Endoscopic ultrasound detects smaller tumors and determines the extent of their distribution, which is achieved through the introduction of mouth thin flexible tube, with the camera on its end. During the examination it is necessary to take a sample of tissue for histopathological analysis to confirm the diagnosis. In 25-50% of cases there is hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar).


Studies show that smoking causes between 20 and 30% of cases of pancreatic cancer. Those who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day have a two to five times more is chance to develop this deadly sickness. On the other hand, food enriched with nickel, selenium, lycopene and folic acid reduces the chances of developing pancreatic cancer by 33 to 95%.

Diet with pancreatic cancer

Nickel-rich asparagus, mushrooms, pears, peas, nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts) chocolate, selenium rich Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs and fish such as tuna and sardines, lycopene which can be found the most in apricots, grapefruit, watermelon and tomatoes, and folic acid green
Vegetables. Read more in the text of diet against cancer.

Pancreatic cancer; TREATMENT

The most effective treatment of pancreatic cancer is surgery, which can be radical and palliative. Radical treatment involves the removal (resection) of the affected pancreas part.

Pancreatic surgery

In the case of pancreatic cancer available are two radical surgical methods, namely duodenopancreatectomy (removal of the pancreas and duodenum) and consecutive partial duodenopancreatectomy. These procedures include removal of the pancreas and small intestine, called the duodenum (duodenum), which is in direct contact with the gland.

If it is a malignant tumor of the pancreatic body, it is possible to remove the central part of the gland, while in the case of cancer of the distal tail the pancreas splenopancreatectomy is performed, which involves the removal of the body of the pancreas with spleen resection.

Palliative surgery is conducted in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer that is when pancreatic cancer is at an advanced stage. Palliative surgery involves the creation of anastomoses (connections, bypasses) between the biliary tree and intestines, with the aim to improve the quality of life of patients. With surgical intervention applied is chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Pancreatic surgery; RESULTS

Results depend on the stage of the tumor, and the most success is achieved when the surgical therapy is combined with chemotherapy and / or radiation.

Treatment of pancreas with medicinal plants

Inflammation of the pancreas - pancreatitis can be treated and with help of herbs, while pancreatic cancer is very difficult disease that is treated mainly by surgical intervention and has a very small percentage of cure. The following herbs are very effective and encourages the flow of pancreatic juice: Echinacea, fresh juice of the nettle, buttercup, gentian root, juniper berries, licorice root which helps the work of glands. Also effective herbs that help liver function and thus the pancreas are tinted root, milk thistle, red clover, etc.

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