The pancreas is the organs which are present in the abdomen. They are very small as small intestines. Pancreatic cancer is cancer which starts from the pancreas.
Symptoms: Pancreatic cancer doesn’t show early signs of cancer. It shows the symptoms when the cancer is spread outside the pancreas at the later stage. Cancer that starts from the head of the pancreas is near the common bile duct. This cancer tissues can cause jaundice when they are small. Cancer can start anywhere in the pancreas head, body or tail of the pancreas. When pancreatic cancer spread outside the pancreas it tends to spread towards the liver and often causes jaundice. Common symptoms include dark yellow urine, greasy stools, and itchy skin. Other major symptoms include stomach ache, especially near the pancreatic region in the belly region of the abdomen, significant weight loss, nausea and vomiting, blood clots, liver enlargement.
Diagnosis: Physical examination, urine tests and CT scan are done to diagnose the disease properly. In some cases, abdominal ultrasound and MRI scan is also done or PET scan is done. There are special machines that can do both PET and CT scan at the same time. This lets the doctor compare the areas of higher radioactivity on the PET scan with a more detailed appearance on the area of CT scan. Angiography is also done. It is an X-ray test which looks at the blood vessels. It shows whether a blood flow in the specific area of the abdomen is blocked by a cancerous tumour. If found so it will be easy for the doctors to detect it and remove a tumour. Several blood tests are done.
Treatment and Recovery: Surgery is done if there is a tumour found in the abdominal region blocking the track of the blood flow. Recovery is fast as a tumour is removed during the surgery and the patient need not have to worry about getting the tumour back again. Follow-up appointments are given by the doctor to check the status of the patient.