Pancreatic cancer is a disease caused by the growth of tumors in the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland that is part of the digestive system and it is about 15 cm long. Pancreatic cancer can be experienced by both men and women, and usually occurs in people aged or over 75 years.
Pancreatic Cancer Definition
The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas serves to release enzymes that can aid digestion and hormones that regulate sugar levels in the blood.
Pancreatic cancer is an abnormal mass growth that occurs in the pancreatic area that affects the work of the pancreatic organs themselves.
The pancreas has an important function in the body because it produces digestive enzymes that serve to break down food in order to be absorbed by the body. In addition, the pancreas also produces hormones, including insulin, which serve to maintain stability in blood sugar levels in the body.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer?
The causes and risk factors of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer occurs when pancreatic cells undergo genetic changes (mutations), so they continue to grow and multiply uncontrollably.
So far, the exact cause of genetic mutations in pancreatic cells is not yet known. However, there are some things that are known to increase a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer, namely:
A person has a risk of developing pancreatic cancer if one or both of his parents have pancreatic cancer. This is thought to be due to the genetic component of pancreatic cancer that is inherited by the child.
Pancreatic cancer occurs in older people, i.e. At the age of 50-80 years. Statistically, the disease is most common in those aged between 65-70 years old.
In addition to hereditary and age factors, smo**king habits are also one of the risk factors that play a big role in increasing the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Based on the results of a study, it is known that about 30% of pancreatic cancer patients are heavy smo**kers. In addition to cigarettes, exposure to toxic chemicals can also increase a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Not maintaining a dietary pattern is one of the risk factors that can cause pancreatic cancer. Unhealthy diets that can cause pancreatic cancer are rarely consumed fruits and vegetables, and too often consume red meat and fatty foods, including fried, processed meats, or bacon.
In addition to the diet, the habit of consuming alco**hol can also be a risk factor for a person getting pancreatic cancer.
A history of certain diseases
There are several diseases that can increase a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer, namely uncontrolled diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, gastric ulcers, H. Pylori bacterial infections, and hepatitis B.
People who have a history of cancer, such as stomach cancer, mouth and throat cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or pros**tate cancer, are also more at risk for pancreatic cancer.
In addition to the above factors, a number of other factors, such as lycopene and selenium deficiency, being overweight or obese, often exposed to radiation in high intensity, or having undergone radiation therapy, it can also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis
If the doctor suspects pancreatic cancer after studying into the symptoms and signs experienced by the sufferer, the doctor performs the following additional examinations:
Pancreatic imaging, performed to see abnormal mass growing in the pancreatic organs. This imaging can be done using ultrasound, CT-Scan, MRI or even using PET-Scan if available.
Ultrasound endoscopy, by inserting a flexible camera through the mouth, then down to the stomach, it is evaluated in the gastric area and pancreas using ultrasound.
Biopsy, i.e. By taking a sample of pancreas organ tissues, then carried out an examination of the sample through a microscope.
A blood test
A blood test, performed to look at tumor-specific proteins released by pancreatic cancer cells. The examination is called the CA19-9 tumor marker examination.