Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in India
About Pancreatic cancer:
The pancreas is a gland which is located in the abdomen- behind the stomach and in front of the spine. Cancer is a class of diseases which is characterized by uncontrollable cell growth, and pancreatic cancer occurs when this uncontrolled cell growth begins in the pancreas. Rather than developing into fit, normal pancreas tissue, these atypical cells continue dividing and form masses of tissue called tumors.
About seventy percent of pancreatic cancers occur in the head of the pancreas, and most of these begin in the ducts that carry the enzymes.
The exact causes of pancreatic cancer are still unknown, however there are few factors that increase the risk, these are:
- Smoking: Cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco. All of them increases the risk of pancreatic cancer
Medical conditions:Risk of pancreatic cancer is increased if you have a record of
- Stomach ulcer
- Hereditary pancreatitis
- Hepatitis virus infection etc.
- Alcohol 7 out of 10 cases of chronic cancer is due to long term drinking
- Diet: Daily excess red meat consumption is linked to pancreatic cancer
- Genetics: 5-10% of people with pancreatic cancer have an immediate family member who also had the disease.
The most common types of cancer of the pancreas are exocrine tumours and the symptoms can be pretty vague. Also they vary depending on where the cancer is located in the pancreas - head, body or tail.
- Pain in the upper abdomen or back
- Jaundice: a condition that causes yellowing of the eyes and skin and darkening of urine
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Itching: if you have bad jaundice you might encounter itching
- Blood clots may form in the deep veins in the legs
- Nausea and vomiting
Also, newly developed diabetes is a sign in ten to twenty percent cases of cancer. This is caused by the cancerous pancreas inability to produce insulin.
- CT scan (spiral or helical): CT scans can detect a tumor in the pancreas, enlarged lymph nodes (which may indicate tumor involvement), tumors in the liver, or obstructions of the bile duct
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound uses a device that emits sound waves, which bounce off the organs, producing echoes that are used to create an image of the organ. This can be done on the outside of the abdomen (called transabdominal ultrasound) or from inside the bowel (a catheter is passed through the mouth down to the bowel), this is called endoscopic ultrasound
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC): If a patient has jaundice, the doctor may want to do a test to find out where the bile duct is blocked and if this blockage is caused by a tumor or another condition. In ERCP, a tube is passed through the mouth down the throat to the bowel, where a small catheter is inserted into the bile and pancreatic ducts. Dye is injected and x-rays are taken. The x-rays will show where the blockage is and what it is caused by. In PTC, dye is injected through a needle that is inserted through the skin, into the liver. The dye moves into the bile ducts, allowing the blockages to be seen with an x-ray
- Biopsy: In some cases, a small sample of tissue (biopsy) may be removed during these procedures to be examined by a pathologist to find the cancer cells
There are no established guidelines for preventing pancreatic cancer, however it is advisable to
- Quit smoking because cigarette is considered to be one of the main causes of pancreatic cancer
- Keep a healthy weight, exercise and increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Increase foods rich in vitamin B (B6, B12 and Folate) as they are considered to reduce the risk of cancer
Pancreatic cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, how advanced the cancer is, its spread and the age of the patient. If it is found before it has spread as it can be removed by surgery but if the cancer has spread, palliative pancreatic cancer treatment can improve the patient’s quality of life by managing the signs and complications of the disease. At Cancer Healer Center, a team of experts carefully plan the treatment based on the above mentioned points and patient’s reports. The treatment used at the center is based on Immunotherapy, a therapy that harnesses the immune system to fight against cancer cells and prevent them from reappearing. Treatment is available for all types of cancers and can be used in conjunction with other traditional therapies. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer and other factors, pancreatic cancer treatment options also include –
2. Radiation therapy
3. Chemotherapy and other drugs
Recovering patient with improved quality of life, reduction in sufferings like pain etc is an important part of treatment for many patients. Sometimes, the best option may include more than one type of treatment.