Showing posts with label Pancreatic Cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pancreatic Cancer. Show all posts

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Deadly

The pancreas secretes hormones and enzymes to digest the fats we need. One of these hormones is insulin, which tells the body fat instead of glucose for energy. Its levels are low in patients with diabetes who suffer from abnormally high levels of sugar in the blood.

Only a fifth of Americans diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for the whole year, according to the American Cancer Society, and is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the country.

How the disease developed without apparent symptoms, and then kill so quickly?

To find out, we asked Allyson Ocean, an oncologist in New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center, specializing in gastrointestinal cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Edited transcript follows.

Why kill pancreatic cancer so fast?

Pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed at a late stage because it does not cause symptoms until it is too late. Weight loss, abdominal pain, jaundice [yellowing of the skin caused by the accumulation of toxins in the liver], they are the most common symptoms. They usually start after the tumor has a considerable size. At that time, chances are, it spread [ie, the spread to other parts of the body].

Only about 10-15 percent of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed when they may consider surgery. And the prognosis is poor even in patients who have surgery, because it returns about 85 percent of the time. At best, 25-30 percent of patients are alive five years after surgery.

When doctors do surgery for pancreatic cancer, they released 95 percent of the pancreas including the tumor and leave a small remnant of the pancreas in there that is [insulin-producing] functions.

If a person can live without a pancreas fully functional, so what kills most patients eventually pancreatic cancer?

When most patients die of pancreatic cancer, they die of liver failure in their lives are supported by the tumor.

What prevents doctors to perform surgery in late-stage patients?

We do not do surgery if the tumor has already spread outside the pancreas, because there is no survival advantage to remove the tumor. We sometimes can not do surgery [when the tumor] involves the major blood vessels, the superior mesenteric vein and superior mesenteric artery. They are the largest vessels coming out of the aorta, the main artery of our body. If the tumor is wrapped around the blood vessels so that we can not get out.

Why this particular type of cancer so aggressive?

Due to the nature of the tumor cells. Treatment escape, hide, and then return. And still grow and affect the liver, and then kill people.

What are the main risk factors for pancreatic cancer?

Known risk factors are smoking, family history, may be a hereditary disease. Then there are some other risk factors more obscure, like the anatomy of the pancreas defects, but it is very rare.

What factors affect how a person can be diagnosed early?

Depending on where the cancer is diagnosed in the pancreas, which can affect how quickly it is diagnosed. For example, if the cancer is at the head of the pancreas, which is close to the bile duct, and grows and causes obstruction of the bile duct, a patient may become jaundiced. And then they could [show symptoms] sooner than a person whose pancreatic cancer is in another part of the pancreas, like the tail. Not present with jaundice, so we have no idea that was not necessarily something wrong with them.

What are the main symptoms, such as cancer progresses?

Unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting. Back pain is different, because the pancreas is very rear of the body. Back pain is the most common complaint that patients go to emergency, and mostly it's just muscle pain, it's not pancreatic cancer.

What treatments are available, if surgery is not an option?

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sometimes they do both. Now also the use of biological agents, which means that the antibody therapy. There is a drug called Tarceva, which is an antibody [or immune protein] against the growth factor that causes tumor cell and by blocking the growth signal. It is administered in combination with [chemotherapy called] gemcitabine. In a large randomized clinical trial, [the combination of two drugs] has shown to improve with gemcitabine alone.
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Pancreatic Cancer Possibly Led Steve Jobs


A rare form of pancreatic cancer possibly led Steve Jobs to give up his position as CEO of Apple, USA TODAY reports.

Given the employment work ethic and dedication to their work, doctors say his decision to resign suggests that you should feel badly, USA Today he wrote. "Given his desire to dominate, you have to speculate that there may be good," James Abbruzzese, Pancreatic cancer expert at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, USA TODAY says.

Although it is unclear how Jobs will do, "I think we will not talk about survival more years, Zev Wainberg, an oncologist tract [not connected to this case] with the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center, USA TODAY said.

Jobs, who is suffering from pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, have been a series of aggressive treatments, such as liver transplantation. He is survived longer than many others with the disease.

Margaret Tempero, pancreatic cancer expert at the University of California-San Francisco and former president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said that cancer of the pancreas as U.S. Jobs is generally most common curable, and patients the most common form of the disease often live less than a year.

But unless the disease is completely eradicated, the cancer finally took a turn for the worse, growing much faster, Wainberg told the newspaper.

According to Richard Goldberg, an expert in neuroendocrine tumors of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, "People can live side by side with this disease for many years," but if the liver begins to fail, "people can go down very quickly . When you hit the wall, you hit the wall, "USA TODAY reports.

Doctors do not know what causes neuroendocrine tumors, Abbruzzese said the newspaper, but the most common types of pancreatic cancer associated with smoking and obesity, and possibly a diet full of fat and red meat. Chronic inflammation of the pancreas and exposure to certain chemicals can also cause disease.

They have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men, African-Americans, people over the age of 50 years, diabetics and those with a family history of pancreatic cancer.

Researchers are exploring ways to find the disease in the past, families who are looking at the history of a disease. Researchers are also looking for genes that may play an important role in the development of pancreatic cancer. In January, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reported open the genetic code of neuroendocrine tumors, which they hope will lead to better treatments.

This year, the FDA approved two new drugs for neuroendocrine tumors, sunitinib and everolimus.
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