Pancreas Cancer


Pancreas Cancer

The pancreas is an organ in our body that produces digestive enzymes and hormones. Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer characterized by excessive and rapid growth and division of pancreatic cells. 

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include abdominal pain, loss of appetite and jaundice. It is more common in men than women. 

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include age, smoking, family history and obesity. Therefore, people with these risk factors should have regular health checks.

Pancreatic cancer affects the pancreas, a gland in your abdomen that helps digestion. The most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include nausea, bloating, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect in the early stages. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

If you suspect pancreatic cancer, be aware that the signs and symptoms may be caused by pancreatic cancer or another underlying condition. It is best to consult a professional, or a surgeon for information.

In this article, we will mention the causes of pancreas cancer, and risk factors of pancreas cancer, and the types of pancreas cancer first. In the second part of the article, you can read about symptoms and early. detection of pancreas cancer and treatment options for pancreas cancer. In the last part of the article, we will talk about lifestyle changes and supportive measures for pancreas cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors of Pancreas Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a disease that everyone is at risk of developing at some point in their life. What causes pancreatic cancer is not fully understood. As with all types of cancer, there are some risk factors. Some of these risk factors can be lined up as below:

  • Pancreatic cancer is not seen often in people under 40 years old. If you are 65 years old or more, you have a higher risk.
  • If you have a pancreatic cancer case in your family's past, it is more likely you have a higher risk for pancreatic cancer. A family history of genetic syndromes can also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Smoking cigarettes or any kind of tobacco product, you are at higher risk for pancreatic cancer.
  • Obesity is considered another high-risk factor for pancreas cancer
  • Type-2 diabetes is also considered a high-risk factor for pancreas cancer

Types of Pancreas Cancer

Pancreas cancer cases have increased in recent years. Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in men and the 8th most common cancer in women. Modern and unhealthy lifestyles are considered the main factors in this increase. You can not prevent pancreas cancer easily, but choosing a healthier lifestyle reduces your risk of getting it.

Two types of tumors cause pancreatic cancer:

  • Exocrine tumors: Almost all tumors seen in pancreatic cancers are exocrine tumors. The most common type of pancreatic cancer is adenocarcinoma, which starts in the cells that line your organs.
  • Neuroendocrine tumors: Less than 10% of pancreatic tumors are neuroendocrine tumors. Another name for that is islet cell carcinoma.

Symptoms and Early Detection of Pancreas Cancer

 We know that early detection of pancreatic cancer and early diagnosis are vital but unfortunately, early-stage pancreatic tumors are not seen on imaging tests. Therefore, it is difficult to diagnose until the cancer has spread and become metastatic. Pancreatic cancer can start without showing symptoms or be very difficult to detect. Some of the symptoms of pancreas cancer can be lined up as below:

  • If you feel sick or are sick
  • If you experience diarrhea, constipation, or other changes in toilet habits
  • If you have pain in the upper abdomen while eating
  • If you feel a high temperature or chills
  • If there is rapid weight loss even though you are not dieting
  • If the whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow
  • If you have itchy skin, darker urine, and paler stools than before

If you have some of these symptoms and are not sure what to do, visit a local hospital or health care center as soon as possible.

Treatment Options for Pancreas Cancer

Treatment for pancreas cancer is different for each case and depends on the patient’s condition. Some important factors that are determining the treatment can be lined up as below:

  • The size of pancreatic cancer you have
  • The type of pancreatic cancer you have
  • The location of pancreatic cancer you have
  • Whether pancreatic cancer you have spread to the other body parts or not

There are different types of treatment for pancreas cancer Some of them can be lined up as below:

  • Surgery: If pancreatic cancer is found early and has not spread, surgery may be needed. If the cancer cannot be removed, you may have surgery to control some of the symptoms.
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Supportive care

There are treatments under the heading of supportive care that can help you improve pancreatic cancer symptoms such as pain and fatigue.

Lifestyle Changes and Supportive Measures for Pancreas Cancer

Coping with cancer is a difficult task. Supportive care is important at that stage. Every cancer treatment has possible side effects and these can cause both physical and psychological changes in every single person. Staging of cancer is one of the main factors for treatment. Since the situation of each patient is different, the same result may not be obtained even if the same treatment is carried out. For this reason, cancer treatment should be considered as a long and diverse process. 

Talking to your doctor about the course of your health is an effective form of motivation. They will want to know if the treatments have any side effects and offer new solutions accordingly. Additionally, you can receive palliative care, if your medical expert considers it necessary.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ogün Erşen Date of birth 10.11.1987 Education and Expertise Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine Kocatepe University Ankara University Faculty of Medicine Konya Health Sciences University Professional Interests: Obesity (fatness) surgery and metabolic surgery Laparoscopic reflux surgery Laparoscopic gallbladder surgeries Gastric balloon application ERCP, EMR, ESD (Advanced Endoscopic procedures) Laparoscopic pancreatic cancer surgery Laparoscopic gastric and intestinal cancer surgeries Hemorrhoid surgeries Perianal fistula surgeries Laparoscopic abdominal and inguinal hernia surgeries Oncoplastic Breast cancer surgeries Natural cancer surgery (NOSE) Thyroid cancer and goiter surgeries. Memberships to Scientific Organizations Turkish Surgery Association Turkish Obesity Surgery Association Surgical Oncology Association National Society of Endoscopic Laparoscopic Surgery He is a member of the Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Association. Courses and Certificates: Turkish surgical association proficiency exam (Board) certificate of achievement in 2018 He has more than 100 papers presented in national and international congresses and more than 50 articles published in international journals. Foreign language English
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