On November 16, we celebrate World Pancreatic Cancer Day. This is a day to bring awareness to a disease that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States and the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. This year, we are especially grateful for the advancements that have been made in research and treatment options for pancreatic cancer. In this blog post, we will explore some of these advancements and what they mean for patients and families affected by pancreatic cancer. We will also provide information on how you can get involved in the fight against this disease.
WORLD PANCREATIC CANCER DAY DATES
World Pancreatic Cancer Day is on the third Thursday of November every year.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that arises from the pancreas, an organ in the abdomen that produces enzymes necessary for digestion. This form of cancer is particularly aggressive and difficult to treat, as it often spreads quickly to other organs. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in the United States.
While there are several types of pancreatic cancer, the most common form is adenocarcinoma, which begins in the cells lining the ducts of the pancreas. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include pain in the abdomen or back, weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), nausea, and changes in stool. Unfortunately, by the time these symptoms present themselves, the disease is often quite advanced.
There are several risk factors for pancreatic cancer, including smoking, obesity, diabetes, and family history. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In many cases, however, pancreatic cancer has already spread too far by the time it is diagnosed for treatment to be effective. As a result, this disease has a very high mortality rate; only about 5% of people with pancreatic cancer survive five years after diagnosis.
World Pancreatic Cancer Day was established to increase awareness about this deadly disease and to promote research into new treatments. This day also provides an opportunity for those affected by pancreatic cancer to come together and offer support to one
Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly types of cancer, with a very low survival rate. The majority of pancreatic cancer cases are diagnosed in the late stages, when the disease is difficult to treat. There are several risk factors for pancreatic cancer, including:
-Age: The risk of pancreatic cancer increases with age. The average age at diagnosis is 71 years old.
-Smoking: Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Smokers are twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as non-smokers.
-Family history: If you have a family member who has had pancreatic cancer, your risk is increased.
-Diabetes: People with diabetes have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
-Obesity: Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases, including pancreatic cancer.
-Chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) can increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is a serious illness that can cause a number of symptoms. These symptoms can include pain in the abdomen or back, weight loss, jaundice, and changes in stool. Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage, when the disease has already spread to other parts of the body. This makes it difficult to treat and can lead to a poor prognosis.
Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer
There are currently no reliable screening tests for pancreatic cancer, so it is often diagnosed in its late stages. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include abdominal pain, jaundice, weight loss, and changes in stool. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed through a combination of medical imaging tests and biopsies. Imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs can help doctors to identify tumors in the pancreas. Biopsies involve taking a small sample of tissue from the pancreas to be examined for cancerous cells.
Once pancreatic cancer has been diagnosed, it is important to stage the disease. This helps doctors to determine the best treatment plan. Pancreatic cancer is typically staged using the TNM system, which stands for tumor size, lymph node involvement, and metastasis (spread).
Treating Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach. It produces enzymes that help break down food and also regulates blood sugar levels. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat because it is often not diagnosed until it has spread to other parts of the body.
There are two main types of treatment for pancreatic cancer: surgery and chemotherapy. Surgery is the only way to cure the disease, but it is not always possible to remove all of the cancerous tissue. Chemotherapy can be used to shrink the tumor and kill any remaining cancer cells.
The decision on which treatment to pursue depends on a number of factors, including the stage of the disease, the patient’s age and health, and the preferences of the patient and their doctor. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating pancreatic cancer, but with advances in treatment options, more people are surviving this disease than ever before.
Prevention of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas. The pancreas is a vital organ located in the abdomen that produces enzymes essential for digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Although pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, it is one of the most aggressive and deadliest forms of cancer.
There is no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer, but there are lifestyle choices that may lower your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, and avoiding tobacco products are all great ways to reduce your risk. If you have a family history of pancreatic cancer, you may be at increased risk and should speak with your doctor about genetic testing and early detection screening options.
November 16 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day, a day to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and support those affected by the disease. In 2022, we encourage you to join us in spreading the word about this important cause. There are many ways to get involved, from sharing your story to making a donation. Every little bit helps bring us closer to a world without pancreatic cancer.