The pancreas is a gland located in the abdomen of & # 39; on, immediately behind the stomach, and has two different functions: to synthesize enzymes that help digest food in the small intestine and synthesize hormones, such as insulin , which are secreted to the blood circulation.
Can & # 39; cause two types of & # 39; cancer: adenocarcinoma (to start in the cells that synthesize) and newroendokrino cancer, the first to rate & # 39; high mortality if not detected in time. According to the Ministry of Health, the latter figure speaks of & # 39; 4.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
What symptoms should I give attention?
Due to the location of the pancreas and its relationship with & # 39; other organs, the different symptoms depending on the tumor site. "Those who are found at the head of the pancreas tend to cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin, sclera and other mucous membranes) or & # 39; dark urine (koluria). This is because thwart channel bile outflows (common bile duct) passing through the head of the pancreas, "said Felipe Puelma, digestive surgeon in & # 39; clinica Las Condes.
The doctor also explains that with & # 39; In general, tumors located in the body and / or pancreatic tail usually cause few symptoms until they are & # 39; considerable size. Among the most frequent are non-specific abdominal discomfort, low weight, lack of & # 39; appetite and spinal pain.
Regarding the factors & # 39; proven risk, we found smoking, exposure to heavy metals, nitrosamines, and excessive consumption & # 39; alcohol and ionizing radiation. While frequent sporting activity, follow a diet with & # 39; robust with fresh fruits and vegetables, and an adequate supply & # 39; vitamin D and omega 3 & # 39; marine origin, are protective factors against this disease, although that improve the prognosis is early diagnosis.
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How to diagnose pancreatic cancer?
As isolated organ of the digestive system, the pancreas gives symptomatology very late, so the cancer diagnosis is usually made when it is already late. Therefore, the medical examinations in case a family history can help identify it early, and it allows being assaulted by & # 39; effectively.
Those who have a higher risk of having pancreatic cancer are those who have a family history & # 39; digestive cancers – especially the pancreas – should therefore remain in preventive control.
Dr. Puelma explains that the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer examinations carried as calculated tomography of & # 39; abdomen and / or magnetic resonance & # 39; the abdomen. "In both cases they may be complementary and should be made with the latest technology, because they allow better planning of therapy," he says.
Abdominal ekotomografija can & # 39; complement, but low probability to see all pancreas, due to its position in the abdomen. "Currently, due to greater access to these diagnostic methods, we observed an increase in & # 39; patients & # 39; pancreatic lesions & # 39; solid tumors and cysts, which allow us to make therapies before they have symptoms", says the specialist.
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Options & # 39; treatment
Early diagnosis and surgery are the best option & # 39; treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, this is rare, since a significant percentage of & # 39; & # 39 current patients, advanced wound. "It is important to note that these patients require therapy delivered by multidisciplinary teams (chemo and radiotherapy), allowing good results, regardless of how it can & # 39; to advance pathology", emphasizes Dr. Felipe Puelma.
The event & # 39; lesions or cysts of pancreatic cysts are important, because that & # 39; or likely to be transformed to malignancy during their evolution. "All these injuries should be evaluated by specialists, since adequate therapy can & # 39; prevent and cure patients or consult & # 39; advanced malignant lesions," he says. F & # 39; these cases can & # 39; is indicated by observation, until the gland retained. Everything depends on the type & # 39; injury.