Pancreatic Cancer is in the spotlight because of the most recent death of Steve Jobs and the 2009 death of Patrick Swayze. Steve Jobs had a rare form of Pancreatic Cancer which has a longer survival rate; usually survival is estimated to be 1 year from diagnosis although, there are exceptions. Preliminary research suggest that changes in oral bacteria may signal the onset of Pancreatic Cancer; go to http://www.medicinenet.com search oral bacteria & Pancreatic Cancer for further information.
Believe it or not the incident of Pancreatic Cancer is low; in the United States in 2011 an estimated 44,000 new cases were reported and there were an estimated 37,000 deaths reported. The reason why Pancreatic Cancer is so deadly is because of the fact that the pancreas is a vital organ, it has digestive and hormonal functions including the responsibility for making insulin.
You are at increased risk if you are a smoker, have a history of certain cancer types and are involved in certain occupations however there is no known definitive cause; for further information on risk factors and possible causes go to http://www.oncolink.org The early symptoms of Pancreatic Disease are
- Abdomen Pain
- Significant weight Loss
- Other possible symptoms can be, blood clots, indigestion, back pain, nausea and vomiting and diarrhea.The first step in the treatment for Pancreatic Cancer is to remove the tumor but very few pancreatic tumors can be removed. the standard procedure is a Pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple). “When the tumor has not spread out of the pancreas but cannot be removed, radiation therapy and chemotherapy together may be recommended. When the tumor has spread to other organs such as the liver, chemotherapy alone is usually used. The standard chemotherapy drug is gemcitabine, but other drugs may be used. Gemcitabine can help approximately 25% of patients”.
I am not a physician! That being said, it is extremely critical for you to consult a physician if you have any concerns; you should not rely totally on a Google search or Blogs for your information. Additionally, If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial you can go to http://www.clincaltrials.gov to see the Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials that are active.