When abnormal cells in the pancreas develop and divide out of control, they create a tumor, which is called pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is a gland positioned between the stomach and the spine in the abdomen. It produces enzymes that aid digestion as well as hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. In pancreatic cancer, cells divide to generate new cells when the body requires them. Cells die as they age and are replaced by new cells and sometimes this procedure can occasionally break. When the body does not require new cells or when old cells do not die, new cells form. The additional cells may create a tumor, which is a mass of tissue.
Pancreatic cancer can be caused by two types of cells found in the pancreas. The majority of pancreatic cancers (adenocarcinomas) start in exocrine cells, which produce enzymes that are released into the intestine to aid in the digestion of proteins, carbs, and lipids. Cancers (neuroendocrine tumors) that develop in endocrine cells that create hormones, including insulin, that govern processes ranging from blood sugar to stomach acidity are far less prevalent. When a cancer cell arises in the pancreas, the glandular cells generate and release chemicals and are found in tissues that line various internal organs.
The causes of pancreatic cancer are not certain, but it may include risk factors like - age, sex, genetic factors like family history of the disease, and lifestyle changes such as smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, and gum disease. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer may not arise until it has reached the advanced stage. It is important to understand these factors and how they are influencing your own risk of cancer. To reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer, have an informed and informative conversation with your healthcare specialist.
For pancreatic cancer, treatment procedures and options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapies. Some other key terms like Pancreatectomy (it is done to remove cancer and to reduce the symptoms and complications of pancreatic cancer) and Whipple procedure (a common procedure for pancreatic cancer that hasn’t spread to other parts of the body) is performed based on the type and condition of a patient.