Published On: Fri, Sep 21st, 2012

Pancreatic Cancer : Causes and Symptoms

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What is meant by ?

Cancer of is known as “Pancreatic Carcinoma”.

What are pancreas and What is its function?

Pancreas is a large organ that is located behind the stomach.

The function of the pancreas is to synthesize and release the into the lumen of the intestine for the absorption of food, mainly fats.

Pancreas releases some hormones by its specialized cells like alpha and beta cells.

Alpha cells of pancreas release glucagon and beta cells of the islets of langerhans of the pancreas release insulin.

These hormones are very essential for maintaining the blood glucose levels. Insulin and glucagon have opposite effects on the receptors.

Incidence and Causes of Pancreatic Cancer:

Tumors may also occur in these specialized islet cells, such type of cancer is called islet cell tumors.

The main cause of pancreatic cancer is not well known but it is thought to be caused commonly in the:

  • Diabetic patients
  • People with Chronic pancreatitis (long term inflammation of the pancreas)
  • People with smoking habits
  • Advanced age
  • Women seems to be affected more with pancreatic cancer than men and this risk increases with age.

Some of the cases of pancreatic cancer are related to genetic syndromes that pass down through generations of families.

Symptoms of the Pancreatic Cancer:

Pancreatic cancer develops without any symptoms in the early stages. It is only in the advanced stage that pancreatic cancer in a person gets detected.

Some of the symptoms of the pancreatic cancer:

  • Dark colored urine
  • Stools in clay color
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice with yellow coloration of the skin, mucous membrane and eyes
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • and discomfort in the abdomen mainly in the upper part of the belly
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Blood clots

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