1. What are the causes of pancreatic cancer?
The cause of pancreatic cancer in most cases is not clear. Factors such as smoking increase the risk of developing the disease. With the advancing age the risk of having pancreatic cancer increases. Turning on oncogenes or turning off tumour suppressor genes can be caused by the changes in the DNA leading to cancer.
2. What are the symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer?
Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer often do not occur until the disease is advanced. These include loss of appetite or unintended weight loss, pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back, new-onset diabetes and blood clots. The other symptoms are depression, fatigue, yellowing of the skin, jaundice, nausea and vomiting.
3. Are there any treatment measures for pancreatic cancer?
Yes, depending on the type and stage of cancer and other factors, treatment options include the following: surgery; ablation or embolization treatment; radiation therapy; chemotherapy; immunotherapy; and a combination of a few of these.
4. Is pancreatic cancer life threatening?
While benign tumours are rarely a threat to life, malignant tumours are more serious and may prove to be life-threatening. Nearby tissues and organs can be invaded and damaged by cancer cells. Pancreatic cancer tends to be discovered at advanced stages, proving very lethal.
5. What is the duration of treatment of pancreatic cancer?
Treatment of pancreatic cancer may take 6 to 12 months, depending on the type and stages of the disease. For about 3 to 6 months, depending on the drugs used, adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemo is given. The duration of treatment is based on how well it works and on the side effects that the patient may have.