The pancreas is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is a part of a digestive system and is located behind the stomach. The pancreas can be divided into the two parts. The exocrine part of the pancreas manufactures the digestive enzymes and pancreatic juice, while the endocrine part of the pancreas manufactures the hormone insulin, which regulates the level of glucose in the blood.
One of the most serious health conditions is the pancreatic cancer, also called exocrine cancer. It is a malignant tumor that appears in the pancreas tissues. This type of cancer is more frequent in men than in women, and also, it usually occurs in elderly people and rarely in young population.
Pancreatic cancer can be caused by several reasons. People who smoke and consume excessively alcohol are at high risk to develop this serious disease. Moreover, there are certain conditions that can lead to the development of this malignant tumor, and some of these conditions are gingivitis, diabetes and chronic pancreatitis, which is a medical term for the chronic inflammation of the tissues of the pancreas. It is also considered that unhealthy diet and obesity may also be potential causes for this disease, but the fact is that the pancreatic cancer may also run in family.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer
When the pancreatic cancer occurs, it hardly shows any symptoms. However, when they appear, they are usually mistaken for the symptoms of some other disorder. In the majority of cases, the symptoms become noticeable when the cancer progresses and affects the adjacent organs. Due to the fact that the early stages of the pancreas cancer are asymptomatic, this condition is rarely diagnosed on time; instead, it is diagnosed when it is already too late.
The most common early signs of the pancreas cancer are mild continuous or intermittent pain that occurs in the abdomen and that may spread to the back. Another symptom of the pancreas cancer is the yellowing of the skin, which is called jaundice. Jaundice is diagnosed when the high levels of bilirubin appear in the blood. Digestive problems are also potential symptoms of the pancreas cancer, because the tumor usually blocks the circulation of the digestive enzymes, thus disabling a normal digestion. People who suffer from this condition may also experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and subsequent loss of body weight. Furthermore, fatigue, depression, bloating and diarrhea may also occur.