Cancer of the pancreas is a dangerous condition that frequently results in death. There is a 5% chance of survival, even though it is the fourth most significant cause of mortality due to cancer in the United States. Because there are typically no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, early identification is essential.
Several things might increase your likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer, such as smoking, having a history of the disease in your family, becoming older, having diabetes, and having certain inherited disorders. If you have any of these risk factors, it is essential that you discuss your risks with your medical professional and learn what steps you may take to lower them.
Pancreatic cancer is a condition that is notoriously difficult to treat, and in many cases, there are no therapies that are shown to be helpful. The sole treatment option that may be curative is surgery; however, removing the entire tumor is frequently not viable. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment are generally helpful in managing the symptoms of the disease, although they are not always successful in treating the condition.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, it is imperative that you look for the most effective treatment and care options available. Dr. Rakesh Srivastava is available to assist you as you progress through this challenging period.
Causes of pancreatic cancer
The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown. However, several risk factors may contribute to the development of this disease, including:
Smoking: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of pancreatic cancer.
Family history: Individuals with a family history of pancreatic cancer are at an increased risk for developing the disease.
Certain health conditions: Conditions such as diabetes and cirrhosis (chronic liver disease) can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Obesity: Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
Exposure to certain chemicals: Certain industrial substances, such as benzene and pesticides, may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Age: Pancreatic cancer is more common in older adults. The average age at diagnosis is 71 years old.
If you have any of these risk factors, it does not mean that you will develop cancer. However, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks so that you can take steps to reduce your likelihood of developing the disease.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer:
cancer can present itself in various ways, depending on the person and the stage of the disease at which they were diagnosed. It is possible that cancer will not produce any apparent symptoms in its earlier stages. However, when cancer continues to develop and spread, it has the potential to start causing a wide variety of issues.
Dr. Rakesh Srivastava says Mutations in genes including KRAS2, p16/CDKN2A, TP53, and SMAD4/DPC4 in cancer are accompanied by an extensive suite of genomic and transcriptome changes that promote cell cycle dysregulation, cell survival, invasion, and metastasis.
cancer is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, the most prevalent of which are as follows:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
- Abdominal pain or discomfort.
- Loss of body weight
- Loss of appetite.
You must consult your physician immediately for further testing if you have any of these symptoms. The cancer diagnosis frequently occurs at a late stage, when the illness is more challenging to cure. If you can catch it in its early stages, you will have a higher chance of defeating it.
How can you reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer?
There’s no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer. But some things may lower your risk, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Avoiding tobacco use
You may be at increased risk if you have a family history of pancreatic cancer. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.
Cancer is often diagnosed in its later stages when it’s more challenging to treat. If you experience any signs or symptoms of cancer, such as abdominal pain or jaundice, be sure to see your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment may improve your prognosis.
How is pancreatic cancer treated?
Because each instance of pancreatic cancer is unique, there is no universally applicable response to this issue. Cancer therapy will be different for each patient. On the other hand, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are some of the most typical treatments for cancer. Utilizing a mix of these therapies in certain instances may be necessary.
A few different drugs are commonly used to treat cancer. One of the most common is gemcitabine, which is typically given as an injection. Other drugs that may be used include 5-fluorouracil, capecitabine, and oxaliplatin. These drugs are usually given intravenously (through the veins). Clinical trials are ongoing to test new combinations of these and other drugs.
According to Dr. Rakesh Srivastava, a top specialist in the field of cancer therapy, the tumor stage is the essential aspect of choosing which treatment method would be the most effective. Dr. Rakesh Srivastava emphasizes that surgical cancer removal is possible if it is discovered early. However, chemotherapy and radiation treatment may be required if the disease has spread.
According to Dr. Srivastava, it is critical to seek treatment from a group of qualified oncology professionals as soon as possible, regardless of the illness’s stage.
Surgery is the most common treatment option for patients with cancer. The disease stage and the tumor’s location have a role in determining the type of surgery that will be performed. For instance, if the cancer is only a few centimeters in size and is contained within the pancreas, a surgeon might be able to remove it entirely (resection).
However, by the time most tumors are detected, they have already grown to a bigger size and have gone outside the pancreas, making them impossible to operate on.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are two other forms of treatment that may be utilized if surgical intervention is not feasible. Although these therapies may assist in the reduction of the size of the tumor and the alleviation of symptoms, they are not often curative.
There are now active clinical studies to evaluate novel treatments for cancer. These new treatments include immunotherapy medications that assist the body’s immune system attack the disease and targeted therapies that limit the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis inhibitors). Dr. Srivastava Rakesh is now participating in several clinical trials exploring new treatments for cancer, including these and others.