Top 20 Doctor insights on: Pancreatic cancer at young age
Don't Know: 85% of cancers are sporadic. When it happens in young patients (<50 yrs) we need to consider hereditary syndromes (ei: brca1 mutation) and familial syndromes. Most likely we won't know why it happened. What's important now is treatment. Speak to the oncologist who will help set a plan of treatment. ...Read more
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
Possible: Unfortunately, cancer shows no limits in terms of what ages it can affect. However, cancer is much less likely in a 19 year old. I recommend waiting for official biopsy results before assuming this is cancer. It will be important to know not only if it is a pancreatic cancer, but also to know what type of cancer. ...Read more
60's: There are 2 main types. What is commonly referred to as "pancreatic cancer" is more specifically called pancreatic adenocarcinoma and this arises usually after age 60, but there are exceptions. The other kind of pancreatic cancer is called neuroendocrine cancer and can arise at any age. For a 23 year old, either would be rare, but talk to your doctor about the symptoms that have you worried. ...Read more
How rare is it for someone my age to get pancreatic cancer. I know rare, but how rare? 1 in 10, 20, a 100, a 1000?
Very rare: It is definitely not 1 in 10, or 20. So it has to be somewhere between 1 in 100 or more like 1 in 1, 000. But this is not going to help you to decide what to do. All I can say it that it is entirely possible, so get it checked out thoroughly till you know that your pancreas is ok if you have the typical signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. ...Read more
Should I be tested for pancreatic cancer? My younger brother died of pancreatic cancer 3 years ago. I am 69 and was diagnosed as diabetic 1 year ago
If you want: Unfortunately for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, there is no specific tumor markers available, and no screening mechanism except ct scan, from the information you gave your unfortunate brother's cancer do not appear to genetic origin, speak to your doctor, good luck. ...Read more
Very rare: Pancreatic cancer is uncommon in young people. ...Read more
One of my parents had a pancreatic cancer before age 50, does it mean that pancreatic cancer if familial.
No: Great question, this is a devastating cancer so I understand your concern. That being said some forms of pancreatic cancers can tend to run in families (very rare) there are rare syndromes called men 1 and men 2 (nothing to do with the sex of a person, the letters stand for something else) that have pancreatic cancer. Google it, however you may want to ask your doctor about genetic counceling. ...Read more
A mom has pancreatic cancer at age 75. (Her mom died at about 45. Cause unknown). Chances that two 55 year old daughters will get pancreatic cancer?
Very unlikely: Pancreatic cancer is rarely familial, so it is very uncommon to see two members of a family develop this cancer. ...Read more
Pancreatic cancer t2n0? Stage 1b; unresectable due to age (78), surgical history. Is there any benefit to radiation and chemo beyond added time?
Uncontrolled growth: Cancer is uncontrolled growth of cells that has escaped normal mechanisms of control that exists in the body to control cell growth and repair damage that may have occurred in the dna of a cell. If this happens to be in the pancrease, (pancrelipase) we call it pancreatic cancer. ...Read more
Depends on location: Pancreas is a fish-shaped organ with its head tucked into the duodenum (c-shaped beginning of small intestine coming off stomach). If tumor blocks bile duct or panc duct, causes abdominal pain, pancreatitis, jaundice. If it's in tail, will cause no symtptoms till very large or spread to other areas. Most common: weight loss, mental status change such as new onset depression. ...Read more
Surgery is Key:
The best option for cure is surgery. About 20% of patients with pancreatic cancer are candidates for surgery. The surgery is pancreaticoduodenectomy, also called a Whipple procedure. It usually involves removing.
1. The head of the pancreas
2. A part of the duodenum
3. A of a portion of the common bile duct
4. The gall bladder
5. In many instances a portion of the stomach ...Read more
Highly variable: Each person is different. Much of the early stage of pancreas cancer has no symptoms. May have gradual onset of lack or appetite and gradual weight loss. Later posdible yellow jaunduce formation. Later stage pancreas cancer can cause a severe boring pain from the mid upper abdomen into the upper back. ...Read more
Probable viral: Pancreas cancer starts out as an intraductal lesion similar to breast DTIC (dacarbazine). It smolders within the ductal system for 15-20 yrs before first signs of ductal wall invasion to become an early pancreatic carcinoma. The TAA that are expressed early are oncofetal in origin and are suppressed at birth to reappear in the tumor as the oncogenic protein. Transformation probably viral induced. ...Read more
Biopsy sometimes: Patients with pancreatic masses, elevated ca19-9 levels, and clinical features of cancer can fairly reliably be clinically diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Biopsy should only be performed when the tumor is unresectable, metastasized, or if neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemo/radiation is being offered. Surgical resection should proceed to provide definitive pathology; needle biopsy often misses. ...Read more
It may be hereditary: There is some evidence that pancreatic cancer may occur more in some families. Johns hopkins was doing a study on families with pancreatic cancer where by relatives were having very close followup that included ct scanning and surgery if there was suspicion of a developing cancer. I do not know if the study is still ongoing. ...Read more
Abdominal organ. It is digestive organ: it secretes enzymes into the small bowel which break down food and help its absorption. It is also an endocrine organ: it produces hormones involved in sugar control and control of digestion. Insulin is one of these hormones. Diabetics either lack Insulin (type 1 diabetes) or have inadequate ...Read more