Pancreatic Cancer

By:Adam Jones

Possible Causes and Information About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a disease caused by damage of the DNA.  These mutations can be inherited or aquired as we age.  We have two copies of each gene,one copy inherit from mom,the other from dad.  Most individuals with an enherited cancer syndrome inherit one mutant copy,and one intact copy of a cancer associated gene.  As they age,some of these people will damage the good copy of the gene in a cell in their pancreas.  That cell will have two bad copies of the gene,and as a result,the cell in the pancreas will grow into a cancer.  It doesn't mean that everyone with an inherited predisposition will get cancer,it means that since they only have one copy of the gene,they are more likely to get cancer.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Some possible symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer are Jaundice,which is the yellowing of the eyes and skin.  Another symptom is Abdominal or back pain.  Another symptom is weight loss or poor appetite.  Digestive problems is also a symptom.  Gallbladder Enlargement and blood clots are a more serious symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer.  

Cancer Growth

Stages of Pancreatic Cancer

In stage 1,cancer is formed and found only in the Pancreas.  In stage 2,the cancer spreads to nearby tissue and organs,but not to nearby Lymphnodes.  In stage 3,cancer has spread to major blood vessels near the pancreas and may have spread to nearby lymphnodes.  In stage 4,cancer may be of any size and has spread to distant organs such as the liver and then lungs.  It may also have spread to organs and tissues near the pancreas or to the lymphnodes.    

Treatments of Pancreatic Cancer

The main types of treatment for Pancreatic Cancer are surgery, Ablative techniques, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy,and other drugs.  Pain control is also an important part of treatments for many patients.  Depending on the stage of the cancer, some of these treatments may be combined.

Survival Rate

The survival rate of Pancreatic Cancer is pretty low.  The survival rate of stage 1A is 14%.  The survival rate of Stage 1B is 12%.  The survival rate of Stage 2A is 7%.  The survival rate of Stage 2B is 5%.  The survival rate of Stage 3 is 3%.  The survival rate of Stage 4 is 1%.

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