Avoid Pancreatic Cancer, Get to Know the Miscellaneous Related to this One Cancer!

Pancreas is one of the important organs in the digestive system. Even so, not everyone has the awareness to maintain pancreatic health, let alone understand the various risk factors and perform early detection of pancreatic cancer. Though pancreatic cancer is realized too late will be very dangerous for the sufferer.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer occurs when normal cells in the pancreas turn into abnormal cells and grow out of control. The pancreas is an organ that is in the abdominal cavity and has a function to make hormones and juices that help digest food.

The two most common types of pancreatic cancer are the exocrine gland type known as pancreatic adenocarcinoma and the endocrine gland type known as neuroendocrine pancreatic carcinoma or islet cell tumor.

What are the symptoms and signs of pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease, because it is difficult to detect early and the growth of cancer cells is very fast. Some people with pancreatic cancer experience pain and weight loss, with or without jaundice or icteric (yellowing of the skin). In addition to these symptoms, people with pancreatic cancer are very likely to experience the following symptoms:

  1. Pain is the most common complaint. Complaints of pain usually start with a dull ache in the upper abdomen which then seems to wrap around the back. The pain comes and goes and sometimes feels worse after eating.
  2. Weight loss. This is due to loss of appetite, feeling bloated or full or feeling full in the stomach even though you only eat a little, or because of diarrhea. Stool looks greasy and floats because it contains undigested fat.
  3. Icteric or jaundice. Yellow skin and eyes. Stools are gray in color. Jaundice is caused by cancer blocking the flow of bile from the gallbladder to the digestive tract.

What are the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?

Factors that can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer include:

  1. The age factor plays a role in increasing the risk, especially those aged over 50 years. Most pancreatic cancer is diagnosed over the age of 65 years.
  2. Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  3. Diabetes
  4. Family history of genetic disorders that may increase the risk of cancer including the BRCA2 genetic mutation, Lynch syndrome and Familial Atypical Mole-Malignant Melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome
  5. Family history of pancreatic cancer
  6. Smoke
  7. Obesity

What are the types of pancreatic cancer?

The most common types of pancreatic cancer include:

  1. Pancreatic exocrine cancer or pancreatic adenocarcinoma, which is a type of pancreatic cancer that starts in the cells that line the ducts of the pancreas
  2. Pancreatic endocrine cancer, which is cancer that forms in hormone-producing cells or pancreatic neuroendocrine cells, which are known as islet cell tumors, pancreatic endocrine cancer and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

  1. Blood test .
    Can be an examination of tumor markers Ca 19-9
  2. Radiological examination
    Recommended radiological examinations can be in the form of ultrasound (USG), CT scan and MRI for a more certain diagnosis.
  3. Biopsy or taking a sample of liver tissue for examination .
    Retrieval of this tissue to confirm the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. During a liver biopsy procedure, the doctor will insert a thin needle through the skin and into the liver to obtain a tissue sample. Then the liver tissue is given to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells.

After pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, the doctor will determine the stage of the cancer. Cancer stage is determined by looking at the size, location and spread of cancer cells. Next, the best treatment for the patient will be determined.

How is pancreatic cancer treated?

There are several options for treating pancreatic cancer, including:

  1. Tumor removal surgery .
  • Surgery for tumors located at the head of the pancreas
    An operation called the Whipple Procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) was performed. This surgery is a procedure to remove the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), the gallbladder and part of the bile duct. In some cases, the stomach and nearby lymph nodes may also be removed. Then your surgeon will reconnect the remaining parts of the pancreas, stomach and intestines to allow you to digest food.
  • Surgery for tumors located in the body and tail of the pancreas
    The operation performed to remove the left side (body and tail) of the pancreas is called a distal pancreatectomy. Your surgeon may also remove your spleen
  • Surgery to remove the entire pancreas.
    In some cases, the entire pancreas may need to be removed, which is known as a total pancreatectomy. You can live a relatively normal life without a pancreas but will need insulin and enzyme replacement for life.
  1. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the medical term for drugs that kill cancer cells or stop them from growing.

  1. Radiation Therapy

Radiation is given to kill cancer cells.

  1. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is the medical term for drugs that work with the immune system to stop cancer from growing.

Understanding various information about pancreatic cancer can help you and the people you care about to make early detection of risk factors, and know the right course of action if you have pancreatic cancer. Don't forget to consult your pancreatic problems with a trusted doctor as soon as possible so that you and your family are always healthy.

This article was written by dr. Tjhang Supardjo , M. Surg, FCCS, Sp.B, FCSI, FINaCS, FICS   who is a Surgical Specialist (Heart Disease, Gallbladder, Spleen and Pancreas) at OMNI Hospital Alam Sutera.

Dr. Expertise Tjhang Supardjo, M. Surg, FCCS, Sp.B, FCSI, FINaCS, FICS

  • Treat liver disease & cancer
  • Treat pancreatic disease & cancer
  • Dealing with diseases, stones & bile cancer
  • Treat spleen disease
  • Laparoscopic surgery (minimally invasive technique)
  • TACE/ TACI/ PTCD/ RFA/ Liver Dialysis
  • Liver transplant

Education Dr. Tjhang Supardjo, M. Surg, FCCS, Sp.B, FCSI, FINaCS, FICS

  • Doctor Profession, Faculty of Medicine, Trisakti University, Jakarta
  • General Surgeon, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic Surgery & Liver Transplantation Subspecialty, Zheijiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • General Surgery Adaptation, UNPAD-RSHS Bandung
  • Hepatology Institute, Eastern Hepatobiliary Hospital (EHBH) Shanghai, China
  • Hepatobiliary Interventional Center (TACE, TACI, PTCD, RFA), Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • Artificial Liver Supporting System (Liver Dialysis) Center, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • Living Donor Liver Transplantation, ASAN Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • Pancreatic Cancer & Surgery, Kyoto University, Japan

For further information, contact Andy: +62 811-1225-277