You are currently viewing Pancreatic Cancer : Symptoms and Causes

Pancreatic Cancer : Symptoms and Causes

Like every other cancer, pancreatic cancer is also abnormal growth of cells that damages nearby cells. It starts from the tissues in your pancreas. It spread rapidly and is often difficult to detect at an early stage. However, early detection with some screening is possible for some people having pancreatic cysts or a family history of pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is responsible for releasing enzymes helpful in digestion and maintaining blood sugar. Many a time, diabetes along with weight-loss, jaundice, and abdominal pain is an indication of pancreatic cancer. The pain generally begins in the upper abdomen and spreads up to the back.

Pancreatic cancer is basically of two types.
Exocrine Cancer affects the exocrine function of the organ including the production of juices and enzymes for digestion.
Endocrine Cancer affects the production of insulin that is vital to maintain the blood sugar level.

The pancreas is a vital organ in our body and damage to this organ can result in many serious complications. It is important to get expert assistance in managing cancer. Dr. Piyush Ranjan is an best gastroenterologist in delhi and has been serving patients for nearly twenty-five years. He has an excellent team well-trained and dedicated to ensuring your comfort. He treats his patients with a lot of compassion and optimism. His proficiency and vast experience ensure the best possible management of even critical diseases like pancreatic cancer.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is often known as a ‘Silent Disease‘. This is because most people do not notice any symptoms in the initial stage. During the early stage, the tumor of pancreatic cancer is too small and causes prominent symptoms. Also, the symptoms in the later stages are not specific. The following are some indications of pancreatic cancer.

  • Pain in the Upper Abdomen
  • Jaundice: This is often identified as painless yellowing of skin and eyes. You will see darker urine. This is a result of a problem with the bile duct and the liver.
  • Pale, grey, fatty stool
  • Nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss
  • Weakness and abrupt weight-loss

These symptoms are also associated with other diseases and medical conditions. For that reason, these are not definite signs of pancreatic cancer. In the case of neuroendocrine cancer of the pancreas, the production of insulin or hormones increases to a great extent. This leads to weakness, dizziness, chills, diarrhea, and muscle spasm.

Other symptoms may also be observed like spontaneous blood clots in portal vessels in arms and legs. Some patients also report clinical depression.

Pancreatic cancer often strikes in different ways or different parts of the organ. The symptoms also differ based on whether it has occurred in the tail or the head. If cancer has occurred at the tail of the pancreas, you would feel pain and weight loss. If it has started at the head end, you are more likely to experience fatty stool, jaundice, and weight loss. Some other signs may appear when cancer spreads to the other parts of the body.

Causes of Pancreatic Cancer

There is no definite reason known for the abnormal uncontrolled growth of cells in any organ of the body. Likewise, the exact cause of the onset and growth of pancreatic cancer is also not known. However, many factors that escalate the risk of pancreatic cancer are identified.
• Genetic Factors
Damages and mutations in the DNA of a person can also cause damage to the genes which control the cell-division. Such genetic changes pass through to the future generations of the family.
Another way the genetics of a person is changed to cause pancreatic cancer is the exposure to environmental factors like tobacco. Patients with genetic syndromes are prone to pancreatic cancer. These syndromes include the following.

  • Breast or ovarian cancer syndrome that is attributed to heredity
  • Rapidly spreading skin cancer; Melanoma
  • Diseases like pancreatitis
  • Non-polyposis colorectal cancer which is also known as the lynch syndrome

• Environmental Toxins
Many environmental factors also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Substances like pesticides, dyes, and chemicals used in refining metals are of major concern. These substances are known to deeply affect the body cells and interrupt their normal functioning. This can result in pancreatic cancer.

• Other Medical Factors
There is data available that supports the association of pancreatic cancer with other diseases. Most commonly linked diseases are:

  • carring of liver or liver cirrhosis
  • Stomach infection that is accompanied by bacteria which cause the ulcer
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Inflammation of pancreas or chronic pancreatitis
  • Periodontal diseases like gingivitis

Age is also an important factor. Older people are more likely to fall prey to the disease.

• Factors Related to Lifestyle
Your lifestyle and daily habits also contribute to the risk of pancreatic cancer. Paying attention to these habits and dietary elements, you can relive your condition.

  • Cigarette smoking or indirect exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Inactive lifestyle and excess weight
  • Taking too much fat like red meat etc
  • Lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • Prolonged and heavy alcohol consumption. Although it is directly related to pancreatitis, it considerably increases the chances of pancreatic cancer

Leave a Reply