Pancreatic cancer falls into rare types of digestive system cancers. It shows its presence very late and once it is discovered it is already in its advanced stage. More than 95% of patients die within two years after diagnosis. Most common risk factors include smoking, diet rich with fats, lean on fruits and vegetables, obesity, reduced physical activity and earlier diseases such as pancreatitis, diabetes and liver cirrhosis. Most common patients are people who had a family member suffering from pancreatic cancer, cancer in general or polyposis of the large intestine. It’s more common with men. The condition can only be treated surgically, but since the diagnosis is done when the condition is far into its advanced stage, rarely it is possible to perform a complete removal of the tumor. Because of this, treatment is focused on chemotherapy and lately some specific biological medication which are focusing on the pancreas itself.
Symptoms of this condition do not appear once it’s basically too late. Once they do appear, they directly depend on the localization and the size of the tumor. Commonly, pain in the upper part of the stomach and in the back appears which intensifies after a meal or during lying down. General weakness, loss of appetite and a significant loss of weight are characteristic for pancreatic cancer. Noxiousness and vomiting are also common, even long after a meal. One specific type of this tumor can cause disturbances with the insulin discharge which causes a whole list of bothersome food digestion disorders, especially while digesting fat as well as sugar. Because of this, diabetes can follow. Commonly, depression can be spotted as one of the first serious symptoms of this condition.
Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer
There are multiple stages of pancreatic cancer in which they can spread all over the body. In the stage 4 pancreatic cancer, cancer cells are known to spread to remote organs such as liver, lungs and some other organs. This can usually be determined only when the surgery is completed which makes complete treatment even less probable. In this stage the condition is almost impossible to control and complete recovery is not probably. However, life expectancy can be expanded with surgery, radiation and some highly advanced methods of therapy, among which biological treatment is even more successful, but it’s still in its development and research phase. This method of treatment allows for adjusting more parameters in terms of adjusted treatment, as not all patients require equal treatment parameters. With these new and advanced treatment methods it is possible to significantly improve the efficiency of the treatment itself.
Unfortunately, life expectancy with patients suffering from this stage of pancreatic cancer is very low, with complete recovery being almost impossible. The cancer can easily spread into the blood stream which causes a whole series of metastatic problems that are very hard to control and treat. Surgery can do only so much because it’s not always about the cancer body itself, yet the dangers that lie within metastases spreading.