Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pancreatic Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. With that in mind, pancreatic cancer is the most deadly form of cancer. It occurs most commonly among black males. Prognosis is poor with most patients dying within 1 year diagnosis. Scientific evidence suggests that pancreatic cancer is linked to inhalation or absorption of carcinogens that are then excreted by the pancreas. Examples are:  cigarette smoke, high fat and high protein intake, food additives and preservatives, industrial chemicals. Other predisposing factors include chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and excessive alcohol intake.

Pancreatic tumors are almost always adenocarcinomas (epithelial cells found in glandular tissue). Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include:  dull, intermittent epigastric pain in the early stage leading to continuous pain that radiates to the right upper quadrant, nausea and vomiting, rapid, profound weight loss.

Treatment consists of total removal of the pancreas, combination of medicines, radiation and or chemotherapy. To learn more in depth about pancreatic cancer visit http://www.cancer.gov/ . Be pro-active. You can do your part by changing the factors you have control of. Every day you wake up presents another opportunity for you to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN