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Pancreas Cancer. What's This?

Pancreatic cancer is a collection of various malignant neoplastic diseases localized in this organ. The most common (more than 80% of cases) diagnosed is adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (pancreatic carcinoma, CP).

Pancreas Cancer

Causes of pancreatic cancer

The reasons for the appearance of a malignant tumor in the pancreas include:

  • diabetes;
  • chronic pancreatitis and other benign diseases of the pancreas;
  • cirrhosis of the liver;
  • hereditary factors;
  • cholelithiasis;
  • smoking;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • overweight;
  • malnutrition with a predominance in the diet of fatty meat products with a high content of cholesterol, insufficient consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • age-related changes in people older than 65 - 70 years.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

A cancerous tumor develops aggressively and quickly metastasizes to surrounding tissues and lymph nodes. With the flow of lymph, atypical cells penetrate into other organs. The danger of pathology is that at the initial stage of the disease there are no alarming symptoms. Early signs of pancreatic cancer are similar to food poisoning, which makes it impossible to suspect the presence of a dangerous tumor...

  • dyspepsia - frequent and loose stools;
  • heaviness and discomfort in the epigastric region;
  • manifestation of symptoms of diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar, unquenchable thirst, itchy skin, and others);
  • loss of appetite;
  • fast fatiguability.

Late symptoms of pancreatic cancer appear as the tumor progresses. Pathology can be suspected:

  • Excruciating intense pain in the epigastric and middle abdomen radiating to the back.
  • mechanical jaundice. It is caused by a violation of the outflow of bile from the pancreatic and bile ducts.
  • Thrombosis of the veins of the lower extremities. It is characterized by the appearance of pain, redness and itching of the skin on the legs.
  • Nausea and vomiting. They arise due to the fact that the neoplasm presses on the duodenum.
  • Body intoxication. The reason is the decay products of the tumor, which enter through the blood to other organs. It is accompanied by loss of appetite, a sharp decrease in weight, weakness, increased fatigue, sleep disturbance.

How to test your pancreas for cancer

At the initial stages, oncology is most often detected by chance. If a pathology is suspected, pancreatic cancer is diagnosed:

  • General laboratory tests - general urinalysis, biochemical blood test, determination of blood sugar levels, tests for tumor markers, amylase enzyme activity and others.
  • Ultrasound. Allows you to detect diffuse changes in the abdominal organs and determine the location of the pathological formation.
  • CT scan. The procedure is more informative than ultrasound, allows you to visualize the internal organs in three dimensions and, thanks to a contrast agent, helps to detect small neoplasms and metastases.
  • MRI. The most informative type of diagnostics. It is carried out with intravenous administration of a contrast agent, it allows to detect oncopathology and metastases at the earliest stages.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. It is carried out to study the pancreatic ducts using an endoscope to obtain an informative x-ray.

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