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Pancreatic Cancer: Overview | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer – Cancer has become one of the biggest problems in the United States of America and all around the world. There are hundreds of different types of cancer, and it can grow in any body part possible. As per the American Cancer Society, The United States of America might diagnose 62,210 people with pancreatic cancer. 

Out of those 62,210 people, most of them will be men, and about 49,830 people will die due to pancreatic cancer. In the whole world, pancreatic cancer is around 3% out of all other types of cancer, but in the United States of America, it’s about 7%. 

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer begins when the cells in the pancreas grow abnormally and become out of control, and later they form a tumor. 

Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a type of gland located in the abdomen between the stomach and spine of a human body. It is found in both men and women, so the cancer is not limited to men only, like prostate cancer.

The pancreas is like any other organ made out of cells. It is a normal process that cells die as they get old and new cells take their place.

But sometimes, the process is not as easy as it might look like old cells might not die and the body makes new cells automatically, and those extra cells may form a mass of tissue known as a tumor.

Types of Pancreatic Cancer

Not all pancreatic cancers are similar. The most common type of pancreatic cancer is exocrine.

  • More than 95% of exocrine cancers are adenocarcinomas. The Pancreatic adenocarcinomas usually start in the ducts of the pancreas.
  • Adenosquamous carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas are the other less common types of cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer : Causes

Just like other cancers, there is no exact reason why these cancers grow. But there are a few reasons which can increase the possibility of pancreatic cancer.


Age is one of the biggest reasons for pancreatic cancer. As you know, cancer grows when cells of any organ either don’t die or start growing abnormally. The age of a person can trigger that unending chain.


Everybody knows that diabetes is one of the biggest reasons people get tumors. And pancreatic cancer can also be caused by long-standing diabetes and older age.


In recent studies, it was clearly concluded that African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews are more vulnerable to pancreatic cancer. There are more numbers of African American and Ashkenazi Jews suffering from pancreatic cancer than other people of white ethnicity.


Being overweight can bring a lot of health problems such as diabetes, joint pains, and cancer. In many studies, it was a clear indication that obesity can also invite pancreatic cancer.


Just like other cancers and tumors, pancreatic cancer can also affect the children if any of the parents or grandparents have pancreatic cancer.


As we share the statistics at the starting of this article, gender can play a big role. Males over the age of 60 are more vulnerable to pancreatic cancer than females. That is why there are more men suffering from pancreatic cancer than women.

Red meat and processed meat

In many cases, researchers found that If your diet is high in processed meat or red meat, you might have more chances to get pancreatic cancer than the people who do not have processed meat in their diet.

Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms 

Cancer is not a simple disease, and most people don’t get any symptoms unless pancreatic cancer or any other type of cancer is in its advanced stage. 

There are a few signs or symptoms related to pancreatic cancer. You feel you have experienced two or more at the same time. You should go consult with a professional.

Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms in all persons with pancreatic cancer. The pain usually rotates around your abdomen and your lower back. Mere one system is not a symptom of pancreatic cancer.

Loss of appetite and Weight

Sudden loss in your weight ahead of your appetite might be pancreatic cancer. A lot of people who were suffering from pancreatic cancer reported their sudden waist close and loss of appetite.


If you have jaundice for a longer period of time, you should get tested for pancreatic cancer. Researchers found that pancreatic cancer can cause jaundice also. If you have yellowing skin and eyes, you might have jaundice, and it is very important for you to get tested for both journalists and pancreatic cancer.

Changes in stool color

If your stool got lighter in color, it might be the reason that you have pancreatic cancer. Other than that, people also complained about their urine getting darker. If you have both of the problems at the same time, consulting your doctor will be the best choice.

Uncontrollable diabetes

As you know, diabetes is one of the biggest reasons people get tumors. In many cases, patients suffering from pancreatic cancer also reported uncontrollable diabetes. If you recently become diabetic and you also have a few other symptoms, it is very important for you to consult your doctor about pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer: Diagnosis

No, let’s talk about how to detect pancreatic cancer because, without testing, you cannot come to any conclusion.

Regular physical exam

This statement about regular physical exams that can detect pancreatic cancer is contradictory in itself. Let me tell you how.

Many times a regular physical examination is not enough to detect pancreatic cancer if you don’t have any symptoms.

On the other hand, if you have any symptoms and your doctor got to know about them, he might ask you to get tested. So it all depends on the symptoms you have at the time of your regular physical exam.

CT scan

A computed tomography scan is one of the common tests to detect pancreatic cancer. If you are getting a multiphase CT scan or pancreatic protocol CT scan, that means your doctor thinks you might have pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer: Treatment

Treatment of any cancer depends on a lot of things because the treatment is not going to be easy no matter what people say about it. 

You and your family might suffer because of the treatment. A lot of things decide which type of treatment you should get, such as your age and expected lifespan.

Doctors also consider how serious your case is and at what stage your cancer is. And there are also going to be a lot of side effects from the treatment.

  1. Surgery for Pancreatic cancer.
  2. Radiation therapy for Pancreatic cancer.
  3. Chemotherapy for Pancreatic cancer.
  4. Targeted therapy for Pancreatic cancer.

These are a few types of treatment you can get for your pancreatic cancer. You might need a combination of two treatments depending on your condition and other factors.

Final thoughts

Any type of cancer is bad for your health and wealth as well. It messes up your brain, and sometimes it can also cause family problems. But it is all part of life. Pancreatic cancer can be treated using advanced treatment facilities.

But you should be aware that it is one of the most important things. If anyone in your family got pancreatic cancer, then it is likely that you might also get it. You can consult your doctor as soon as possible and try to detect it as early as possible.

Can doctors detect pancreatic cancer earlier?

Yes and no, doctors can detect pancreatic cancer earlier if the person has any family history related to pancreatic cancer. If your parents or grandparents Have a history of pancreatic cancer, then doctors suggest an endoscopic ultrasound or MRI so they can detect it earlier.
Even if you get a regular health checkup, pancreatic cancer is very hard to detect because the pancreas is located deep in the abdomen, and by hand, it is not possible to detect any tumor abnormally growing in your body.

Who is more vulnerable to pancreatic cancer?

As per the statistics, both men and women are equally vulnerable to pancreatic cancer. But men have had more cases of pancreatic cancer than women in the last five years. It is safe to conclude that men are more vulnerable, but the margin is very slim.
Ethnicity plays a major role when it comes to vulnerability to pancreatic cancer. As per the statistics, African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews are more vulnerable to pancreatic cancer.

How do I know I have pancreatic cancer?

There is no way that you can know you have pancreatic cancer sitting at your home because you cannot feel the tumor, so by hand, it will be impossible for you to detect. But there are a few symptoms, and if you feel you have two or more symptoms at the same time, you should get tested for the same.

My family member had pancreatic cancer. Will I also get it?

There is a huge possibility if you’re parents or grandparents have pancreatic cancer, you will also get it. Many times doctors suggest endoscopic ultrasound or MRI check if anyone has pancreatic cancer because doctors can not detect pancreatic cancer earlier because the pancreatic is located deep in the abdominal. That is why doctors fail to detect it in normal examinations.

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