Pancreatic cancer is a
form of malignant tumor of the pancreas. The condition can develop from the pancreatic head in 80% of cases,
or the body and tail of the pancreas. In 90% of cases, the cancerous cells develop from the group of cells
that line the duct leading into the intestine the pancreatic juice, an enzyme-containing secretion
contains trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen, elastase, carboxypeptidase, pancreatic lipase, nucleases and amylase.
Most Pancreatic cancers
are diagnosed at an advanced or late stage, between 80 and 90%, which causes the treatment often difficult
and ineffective – please see pancreatic cancer treatment. One of the reasons is that the
pancreas is located in the hollow of the abdomen and it is devoid of nerve endings that could signal a problem
by sending pain signals to the brain. That is, the tumor is generally asymptomatic at early stages. For more
info, please pancreatic cancer symptoms and warning
It is therefore difficult
to diagnose any type of malignancy of the pancreas at an early stage, which makes the disease one of the most
deadly cancers worldwide. Pancreatic cancer prognosis is unpleasant; more than three quarters of patients die
within 12 months of diagnosis, and only 2% survive up to 5 years. In the US, adenocarcinoma of the
the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women,
causing the death of about 28,000 people each year, according to The American Cancer Society (ACS).
The cancer may be
detected by chance during an imaging test, such as an ultrasound or CT scan of the abdomen performed for
another reason. It also happens that diagnosis occurs incidentally during a surgical procedure for a
pre-cancerous lesion or cyst of the pancreas that your doctor decides to surgically remove. This can lead to
early detection. In this case, the pancreatic cancer treatment can provide survival chance.
The pancreas is a vital
organ elongated and triangular shape, approximately 15 cm long, which lies behind the stomach. Its function
is twofold: 1st, exocrine function, secreting enzymes (pancreatic juice), which is discharged into
the duodenum and essential for the digestion of fats and proteins; 2nd, endocrine function,
producing hormones, insulin and glucagon, in order to regulate sugar (glucose) in the blood. Over 95% of
pancreatic cancers affect the region which provides the exocrine function of the pancreas.
Development of cancerous tumor occurs when a group of cells becomes abnormally belligerent and begin to reproduce
anarchically to form a malignant mass. Without a proper treatment, the malignant cells will continue to proliferate
in an uncontrolled manner and more or less rapid and spread elsewhere in the body to form other cancers,