Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, mainly found in patients 45 and older. In this article we describe why is pancreatic cancer so deadly? The average age of discovery of Pancreatic cancer in patients is 72 years.
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Pancreatic cancer is a disease wherein cancerous, also known as malignant cells form in tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland tucked just behind the stomach and in front of the spinal column. The pancreas is responsible for producing digestive fluids and enzymes that help your stomach break down foods and for producing hormones that aid in the regulation of blood sugars in the body.
The pancreas is vital to maintaining a healthy body, once malignant cells start to take over the pancreas, it can no longer function properly. With time, pancreatic cancer will either shut down the pancreas, spread to other organs in the body, or a combination of both, ultimately causing the death of the patient who has it.
Around 95% of patients who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die from the disease, according to experts. Even though during the early stages of pancreatic cancer, the tumor is usually highly treatable, there are no symptoms until cancer has developed and often spread. By that point, treatment is difficult and often unsuccessful.
Why is pancreatic cancer so deadly? Well, pancreatic cancer is most often discovered at an already advanced stage of growth wherein abdominal pain and jaundice may result as symptoms, which indicate the disease’s presence in the body too late.
Pancreatic cancer is a highly neglected disease.
It doesn’t receive as much attention or funding as other more common cancers, such as breast, colon, or prostate cancer. These cancers are more common, but often less deadly and more treatable.
A person with average risk for cancers has about a 1% chance of getting pancreatic cancer in their lifetime. The leading preventable cause of pancreatic cancer is aging, which cannot be avoided. However, there are other ways you can reduce your risk. It’s important to assess your risk factors and adjust your living habits accordingly, in order to reduce your risk.
A few ways you can reduce your risk for all cancers is to quit smoking, be a non-smoker, avoid second-hand smoke, avoid alcohol or reduce intake, keeping a healthy diet, protect your skin from sun damage, and keep active. Tips for reducing your chance of pancreatic cancer includes all of the above, controlling your weight, and reducing your exposure to chemicals in the workplace.
Unfortunately, race, sex, family history, and inherited genetic syndromes are all factors that contribute to the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer. Statistically, men are more susceptible to pancreatic cancer than women and those who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop pancreatic cancer in their lifetime.
Pancreatic cancer is very dangerous
Pancreatic cancer is very dangerous due to the lack of warning signs that show before it is too late. Only one-fifth of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will live one full year after their diagnosis. Usually, by the time pancreatic cancer has been identified and diagnosed, cancer has metastasized elsewhere, which means spreading to other organs and parts of the body.
Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed through CT scan, MRI scan, X-ray, biopsy, and through many other methods. Pancreatic cancer is difficult for patients to notice and medical professionals to diagnose before it’s too late for surgery. However, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other genetic therapies are sometimes a viable option to cure cancer or extend the prognosis time for living.
There are some signs you can watch for in yourself and your loved ones to help diagnose early pancreatic cancer before it hits its late stages. Jaundice, lack of appetite, enlarged gall bladder, abdominal pain, change in taste, pale stool, dark tarry stools, itchy palms and soles of the feet, and sudden unexplained weight loss may be symptoms and signs of pancreatic cancer.
If you experience one or a combination of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about cancer screening. Also, make sure to take your family’s medical history into consideration when scheduling cancer screenings and their frequency.
Why is pancreatic cancer so deadly? Because it is a neglected disease with few warning signs. Take the time to watch for signs of pancreatic cancer and reduce your risk factors.