Pancreatic cancer

Most people fear of dying from cancer. The disease is somewhat sneaky, as you usually don’t know you have it until it is too late to treat it. Most cancers can be treated and you can be cured if the disease is detected in its early stages. However, if more time has passed and cancer has had time to grow and spread, the treatment becomes increasingly difficult. Pancreatic cancer is a disease that is diagnosed in about 30 000 Americans and 60 000 Europeans each year. It is a serious condition and should be treated as soon as possible, as the life expectancy in the early stages is far greater than the average life expectancy stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

About pancreatic cancer

Pancreas is an organ that is situated at the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. It creates pancreatic juices, hormones and insulin. Diabetics are people that have problems with this organ, but having diabetes does not mean you will get pancreatic cancer. Now that we know something about the organ, let’s explain what is cancer. Cancer is a disease that is characterized by excessive cell growth. In our body, cells die and are replaced by new ones all the time. It is a completely natural process. The cancer occurs when cells start to grow faster than old ones die. The cells start to form lumps and masses of tissue called tumors. The tumors prevent normal the organ they are on form functioning normally. When the cancer spreads to other organs through blood and lymph systems it starts to prevent them from functioning normally. This in the end leads to death. The growth and spreading of the cancer is divided into stages. The greater the stage, the more cancer has spread. That means that stage 1 cancer is in its beginning and has just started to grow. Life expectancy in this case is high, as the tumor can get removed and it hasn’t spread to other organs yet. On the other hand, averagelife expectancy stage 4 pancreatic cancer is significantly lower than that of a stage 1 cancer. In stage 4 the cancer has already grown and spread to other organs, starting to interfere with their normal functions.

Causes of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a disease that can occur for various reasons. There are many factors that can increase the chance to develop cancer. For example, it is known that the disease can run in the family. About 10% of all cancers are caused by inherited gene mutations. If you had member of your family die of cancer, you have increased chances to get it as well. There are certain substances that can cause cancer and they are called carcinogens. They damage your DNA and can cause mutations that could later develop into cancer. Smoking is another thing that drastically increases the chance of getting cancer, and so can other unhealthy habits. Poor diet low in fruit and vegetables, rich in red meat, and fat can also increase the chances of getting cancer. That is why you should try to avoid as many of this factors as possible and if you have increased risk of getting cancer, get regular check-ups to detect it in time. If it gets detected at later stages, you should know that average life expectancy stage 4 pancreatic cancer is about 2-6 months. That means only half of the patients with stage 4 cancer live longer than 2-6 months.

Minimize the risk of pancreatic cancer.

As you can see, the average life expectancy stage 4 pancreatic cancer is fairly short, so the key is prevention and not treatment. Quitting smoking and getting a more diverse diet richer in fruit and vegetables as well as increasing vitamin input in your body is a good way to start. Getting regular check-ups and early detection is the key to successful pancreatic cancer treatment, so don’t forget about that as well.

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