The options used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer and its side effects

Cancer of the pancreas

Disease results from the abnormal growth out of control cells in the pancreas, and is the pancreas gland located behind the stomach produces juices that help break down food and hormones that help to control the sugar levels in blood.

The causes of pancreatic cancer

There is no specific reason for the development of pancreatic cancer, but there are several factors that may increase the likelihood of infection, and these factors:

  • Action: where the affects of this type of cancers of people between 50 and 80 years.
  • Obesity and weight gain.
  • Smoking: Associated about 1 out of every three cases of cancer, using
  • People who have a history of certain health conditions such as:
  1. Type II diabetes especially.
  2. Pancreatitis chronic.
  3. Gastric ulcers and infection of Helicobacter (gastritis)

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Often called pancreatic cancer is a disease of the “silent”, because symptoms appear only in advanced stages, but may show the patient some of the symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the back or stomach: features that increases when you lie down after eating.
  • Loss unexplained of time.
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) with a change in the color of urine and paleness in the color of stools.

How to diagnose pancreatic cancer

Are hiring some tests in order to confirm the incidence of this disease such as:

  • Ultrasound “ultrasound” of the abdomen.
  • CAT scan (CT) of the abdomen with dye.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Positron emission tomography(PET) full body.
  • Endoscopy of the bile ducts and pancreatic duct (ERCP).

The treatment of pancreatic cancer

Is to choose the appropriate method in the treatment of pancreatic cancer is based on several factors, including:

  • The type of cancer and its location.
  • The stage of the disease.
  • Put the patient’s health.

When detected at an early stage, be cancer of the pancreas a much greater chance for treatment success. However, there are also treatments that can help control the disease for patients with pancreatic cancer at a later stage to help them live longer.

The options used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer

There are several options used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer and these options:

  • Surgery

Include pancreatic cancer surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas depending on the location and size of the tumor in the pancreas, it is considered this option is available in about 20% of patients due to the late discovery of this disease usually.

Usually are combined surgical treatment and chemo or radiation therapy.

There are several options in cancer surgery of the pancreas include these options:

  • If the cancer is located only in the head of the pancreas, loss the surgeon performs the process of the web, which is about surgery comprehensive where a surgeon removes the head of the pancreas and part of the small intestine called the duodenum, as well as the bile duct and stomach. Then the surgeon will reconnect the digestive tract and biliary tract.
  • If the cancer is located in the tail of the pancreas, in this surgery the surgeon removes the tail of the pancreas and body as well as the spleen.
  • If the cancer has spread throughout the pancreas or it is present in many areas in the pancreas, there may be a need to root the pancreas kidney

Side effects of surgery resection of pancreas:

  1. Weakness and fatigue in.
  2. The difficulty in the digestion of food.
  3. Diabetes due to loss of insulin that results from the pancreas.
  • Radiation therapy

The use of X-rays of high energy or other particles to destroy cancer cells, usually by a radiation wave from an external device.

In general is the use of chemotherapy along with radiation therapy.

Includes side effects radiation therapy:

  1. Fatigue and overwork.
  2. Nausea and upset stomach.
  3. Redness of the skin looks like a war.
  • Chemotherapy

It is through the use of drugs designed to destroy cancer cells that grow quickly, the system consists of chemotherapy, usually of a limited number of courses during a specific time period, there are usually a rest period between sessions.

Include the side effects of this option:

  1. Weakness in appetite.
  2. Nausea and vomiting.
  3. Diarrhea and digestive problems.
  4. Skin rash and mouth ulcers.
  5. Hair loss and lack of energy.
  • Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy also called biological therapy, is designed to enhance the body’s natural defenses against cancer, uses materials made by the body or in a laboratory to stimulate or restore immune system function.

  • Palliative therapy or supportive

Is the treatment focused on reducing symptoms and improving quality of life and support patients and their families regardless of age or type of cancer and stage of infection.

Often resort to this option if the cancer stage is not amenable to treatment so that treatment options pancreatic cancer other become non-available.

Include supportive care for people with pancreatic cancer are the following:

  1. Chemotherapy dampeningmay help chemotherapy, which is discussed above in relieving the symptoms of cancer of the pancreas, usually this approach is used when the spread of cancer and its treatment.
  2. Removal of the bile duct obstruction or blockage of the small intestine: it is that through the use of a brace which helps in maintaining the survival of the biliary tract, small intestine open.
  3. Improve digestion and appetite: through the use of a special diet and some medicines which help to digest food better.
  4. Control your diabetes: it usually recommends the use of insulin if the person is diabetic because of the loss of insulin resulting from the resection of the pancreas.
  5. Relief of pain: through the use of some drugs such as morphine to help reduce pain, can also modify the nerves causing pain which help to relieve abdominal pain or back pain, where are injections nerves either drugged to stop the pain for a short time or medication that destroys the nerves and can relieve pain for a longer time.


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