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Quit Smoking and Stay Away From Pancreatic CancerBY: Ritu Choudhary | Category: Pancreatic Cancer | Submitted: 2010-08-01 20:43:12
The pancreas is a gland situated in the abdomen behind the stomach and above the kidneys. It consists of two parts. The pancreas 'exocrine' secret many digestive enzymes essential for digestion, while the endocrine pancreas, composed of islets of Langerhans, synthesizes hormones like insulin that regulates blood sugar in the blood. Pancreatic cancer is very rare and occurs usually after 50: the average age at diagnosis is 69 years for men, 74 for women. Worldwide, we diagnosed more than 216,000 new cases each year.
Tobacco is recognized as one of the major risk factors since pancreatic cancer is two to three times more common in smokers. Nearly one third of these cancers would be directly attributable to smoking and age of onset is 10 years earlier in smokers. The existence of chronic pancreatitis increases the risk of developing this cancer. A diet rich in meat and fat low in fiber may play a facilitating role. Approximately 10% of pancreatic cancers have a hereditary component.
The clinical examination is sometimes found increased volume of the liver and gallbladder, but it is often normal. Ultrasound can show the tumor but it is mostly the scanner which allows the diagnosis and to possibly identify the lymph nodes or liver metastases. In some difficult cases the endosonography, an approach that combines endoscopy and ultrasound is very informative. Biopsy is another confirmative method to detect pancreatic cancer by puncturing tumor for microscopic study. It is useful to check certain blood markers, which will subsequently be used to monitor treatment. CT chest is performed for the detection of staging.
Surgical removal of a tumor, if possible, must be proposed because it represents the standard treatment. If the tumor does not give immediate benefit from the surgery, because of wide or locally accompanied by metastases, chemotherapy treatment is often recommended. This may improve the symptoms like pain, halt the progression of the tumor and increase the chance of survival. The radiation therapy is sometimes used alone or in combination with chemotherapy treatment. In future, these medical treatments, including chemotherapy, will be offered to patients in whom cancer had been surgically removed to increase their chances of recovery.
Apart from chemotherapy and radiation therapy symptomatic treatment is also required. Administration of analgesics especially morphine is administered, nutritional supplements and psychosocial support are essential to improve the quality of life of patients. Similarly, treatment of stricture of the bile duct or duodenum or surgical bypass by medical stenting is also very important.
Follow-up care can help you and your healthcare team to check your progress and assess how you are recovering from treatment. Initially, the management of your monitor may be provided by a specialist in your team. Your family doctor may eventually take over. The schedule of monitoring visits is different for each person. Visits to the doctor may be more frequent during the first year after treatment and less frequent thereafter. If symptoms persist or if new symptom arises after completion of the treatment, please notify your doctor immediately, without waiting for the next appointment.
You will enjoy probably at the end of treatment and the idea of resuming your normal activities. By cons, it is also possible that you feel some anxiety. If the end of treatment concerns you, talk to your healthcare team. She is here to help you through this transitional period. Eating well after treatment for pancreatic cancer may be problematic if so, ask your health care team to refer you to appropriate resources. A registered dietitian may recommend a nutritional program tailored to help you maintain your health, your well-being and quality of life.
Article Source: http://www.cancer-surgery.com/
About Author / Additional Info:
I am not a cancer doctor. Always consult your doctor before taking any action or conclusion regarding your medical condition.
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