Pancreatic cancer now causes the second-highest number of cancer deaths each year because even in its early stages, treatment is challenging. In fact, up to 56,700 Americans are diagnosed each year. Therefore, education on pancreatic cancer Grayson GA is more important than ever. These are some things you should know about this disease.
Types of Pancreatic Cancer
Depending on the type of cell, this cancer can be either exocrine or neuroendocrine. Most tumors (93%) are exocrine, but these grow faster than neuroendocrine tumors.
These tumors require different treatments, and clinical trials play a crucial role because they can be used to combine or test new treatments on the different types of tumors. Molecular profiling tests are necessary to determine the type of tumor and its biological features.
Diagnosis is Challenging
Unlike many cancers, no regular diagnostic method exists for pancreatic cancer, in part because its cause is unknown. This means that early detection is challenging. If, by chance, a diagnosis is made early, surgery may be pursued, but if the diagnosis comes too late, this option is unavailable. Therefore, diagnosis presents the greatest challenge in controlling this disease.
Many cancers have specific, identifiable signs, but pancreatic cancer symptoms are somewhat vague and can also suggest the existence of other diseases. For example, a patient may appear jaundiced, where the skin and eyes begin to take on a yellow hue, but this may also suggest a problem with the kidneys. Other symptoms include weight loss, nausea, abdominal or back pain, changes in your stool and diabetes. With these symptoms, doctors may not immediately check their patients for pancreatic cancer, so they should ask about this testing if they are experiencing these symptoms.
Heredity Plays a Minor Role
Unlike many cancers, hereditary pancreatic cancer only comprises 10% of all cases. A close relative with this type of cancer or an associated disease may increase a patient’s risk. A genetic counselor may be consulted to screen individuals with high risks.
Due to its survival rate, early detection is vital. Therefore, consider learning more about pancreatic cancer, especially if you have a family history of the disease.