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Doctor insights on: Where Does Pancreatic Cancer Begin

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,214 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

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


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What is pancreatic cancer?

What is pancreatic cancer?

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

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Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

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

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How to cure pancreatic cancer?

How to cure pancreatic cancer?

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

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Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

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

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What can cause pancreatic cancer?

What can cause pancreatic cancer?

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

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How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

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

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How can I survive pancreatic cancer?

How can I survive pancreatic cancer?

Survival: If there is no evidence of distant metastasis and it can be resected, the highest survival is achieved through surgical resection (whipples procedure) followed by chemotherapy +/- radiation. ...Read more

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Is the pancreatic cancer hereditary?

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

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Could children get pancreatic cancer?

Could children get pancreatic cancer?

Yes indeed: The usual form is pancreatoblastoma, a tumor with a different appearance and behavior from common adult pancreatic cancer. It's quite uncommon, with a few dozen cases in the us each year. A microscopic photo of one such tumor is shown in the picture. ...Read more

Dr. Debashish Bose
395 doctors shared insights

Pancreatic Cancer (Definition)

Cancer of the pancreas are fast growing abnormal cells. These can be adenocarcinoma that can grow quickly, difficult to diagnose at an early stage & only sometimes can be removed with surgery. Endocrine cancers tend to be slower growing & may produce hormones & are surgically removed. Cystic cancers also may have better success with surgery. All of these can be difficult ...Read more


Dr. Sanjiv Kaul
3 doctors shared insights

Pancreas (Definition)

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