According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer accounts for three percent of cancer cases in the United States and seven percent of cancer deaths.
What is pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the pancreas. The pancreas is a long flattened gland located deep in the abdomen. This gland has two basic functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation.
Pancreatic cancer occurs when the cells found in the pancreas (also called the exocrine cells) start to change and grow out of control.
What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
There are usually no signs and symptoms during the early stages of pancreatic cancer. The symptoms only start to show once cancer gets into the advanced stage.
Some of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- Appetite loss
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blood clots
- Abdominal or lower back pain
Who is at risk for pancreatic cancer?
Experts still don’t know what exactly causes the exocrine cells to change and grow abnormally. What they do know is that there are certain factors that can increase one’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
This includes tobacco use, being obese/overweight, diabetes, having chronic pancreatitis, and being constantly exposed to certain chemicals such as those used in metal works and dry cleaning.
How pancreatic cancer is treated?
The goal of pancreatic cancer treatment is to kill the cancer cells and to prevent the spread of cancer.
Surgery is one of the treatment options for pancreatic cancer. In some cases, only the cancer is removed and the rest of the pancreas is left alone. However, there are also cases when all of the pancreas and other organs have to be removed (this completely depends on how large the cancer is or if it has spread).
Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland, TN have physicians with special training in surgically treating pancreatic cancer. To request an appointment with one of our experienced surgeons, you may call us at (865) 306-5775 or Request an Appointment online at https://www.premiersurgical.com/request-appointment/.