The pancreas is an important organ in the human body because it produces certain hormones and enzymes that are vital for the proper functioning of the entire organism. It is consisted of exocrine and endocrine glands. Exocrine glands produce enzymes and help in the digestion, while endocrine glands produce insulin that regulates the blood sugar level. There are four anatomical parts of the pancreas, and these parts are head, uncinate process, body, and tail.
Types of pancreatic cancer
Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia is one of several types of pancreatic cancers that are the mildest, and it can be diagnosed endoscopically. Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is one of the most frequently occurred pancreatic cancers, and this type of cancer starts in the exocrine glands. On the other hand, neuroendocrine carcinoma, or islet cell tumor, is the name for the endocrine glands pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most serious and dangerous of all cancers. It is very aggressive and rapidly spreads out to the different parts of the body. With this type of pancreatic cancer, medical treatment is not effective, and the only treatment that may be curative is the surgery.
Causes of pancreatic cancer
The exact cause for the development of pancreatic cancer is still not discovered. Anyway, there are several potential causes for the occurrence of this disease. The cancer occurs because of certain mutations in DNA. These mutation can be inherited from one parent, either from father or mother, or they can be acquired with age. For example, the DNA may be damaged by smoking or by chance, but there are several other ways how DNA can be damaged.
Those people who smoke are at greater risk to develop pancreatic cancer. In order to prevent occurrence of this disorder it highly recommended to stop smoking immediately. There have been studies that prove that every fourth person with pancreatic cancer induced this disorder by smoking cigarettes. Furthermore, the pancreatic cancer is the disease that usually affects elderly population. In the majority of cases, people above 60 years of age are affected by this condition. Moreover, black people are somehow more predisposed to develop pancreatic cancer than other races. Pancreatic cancer is the condition which is more common in men than in women, which is probable because the men are more likely to smoke. Also, if pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas is left untreated, it may lead to the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, obesity, poor diet and diabetes are also some of the causes for the appearance of pancreatic cancer.