What are Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic Cancer Surgery India, Low Cost Pancreatic Cancer Treatment India, Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Benefits India. The most common early symptoms can include:
Pain in the stomach area that may spread to your back
Unexplained weight loss
Other and later symptoms
Fever and shivering
What are the Types of Pancreatic Cancer?
There are two types of pancreatic cancer, that of the exocrine gland and that of the endocrine gland. About 95 percent of pancreatic cancers begin in the exocrine cells of the pancreas.
Exocrine tumors: Most tumors affecting the exocrine gland are called adenocarcinomas. This type of cancer forms in the pancreas ducts. Treatment for these tumors is based on stage of growth.
Ductal Adenocarcinoma – Adenocarcinomas account for over 75% of all pancreatic cancers, and develop from cells that line the ducts which carry the digestive juices into the main pancreatic duct and then into the duodenum. They can develop anywhere within the pancreas. Most commonly, they are found in the head of the pancreas.
Acinar Cell Carcinoma – This is a very rare cancer (about 1% of pancreatic cancers) and develops in the acinar cells that produce and secrete the digestive enzymes. These tumours may produce excessive amounts of the digestive enzymes and so cause distinct symptoms, including unusual skin rashes and joint pain.
Adenosquamous Carcinoma – These tumours are similar to adenocarcinomas in that they form in glands, but the cells flatten as they grow.
Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm/Tumours – Also known as IPMNs (or IPMTs), they form in the main pancreatic duct or in its side branches. They form finger like projections known as papillae into the duct and secrete a large amount of mucous which often causes the duct to expand or dilate. They account for about 3% of cases. They may be benign when first diagnosed, but if left unchecked, may change into a more aggressive and invasive form of cancer.
Mucinous Cystadenocarcinoma – A rare malignant cyst filled with mucin – a thick gel like fluid – predominantly affecting the tail of the pancreas and not the ductal system. They account for 1 – 2% of exocrine tumours and almost exclusively are found in women (middle-aged). If the cyst (which can grow very large -up to 20 cm) presses on the bile duct it will cause obstructive jaundice.
Pancreatoblastoma – A very rare childhood tumor (predominantly found in children under 10). It is even more rarely seen in adults. Mainly made up of acinar cells, some show ductal elements and even endocrine cells. Its features overlap those of acinar cell carcinoma.
Serous Cystadenocarcinoma – A cyst filled with thin, watery fluid. These are almost always benign tumors, which although can grow quite large, do not spread to other parts of the body. Cystic tumors represent about 2% of all pancreatic cancers. Most are benign, but their growth will impact on other structures and cause symptoms such as jaundice if they press on the bile duct.
Solid and Pseudopapillary Tumors – These are rare, benign or low grade malignant tumours more commonly seen in girls and young women. They can occur anywhere, but most frequently they are found in the tail and consist of both solid and cystic parts. They have a good prognosis if they can be completely removed since they can spread.
Endocrine Tumors: These tumors are less common and are most often benign. Though rare, cancer stemming from an endocrine tumor (cystadenocarcinoma) affects the hormone-producing cells. There are different types of Endocrine tumors.
Gastrinomas (Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome) – These produce too much gastrin, causing peptic ulcers in the stomach or duodenum. This leads to severe pain, bleeding causing black tarry stools (faeces), and diarrhoea. They occur in the pancreas and in the duodenum. These tumors are mostly malignant, meaning cancerous. The majority of cases appear to develop for unknown reasons, but about 25% of cases are associated with the MEN-1 syndrome, and as such are inherited as part of a genetic syndrome. Improved early screening in at risk groups may lead to earlier diagnosis when the tumors are still benign.
Glucagonomas – These produce too much of a hormone called glucagon. This causes a very specific type of skin rash (redness, ulceration and scabbing), anaemia, mouth ulcers and diarrhoea. These tumors are mostly malignant, meaning cancerous.
Insulinomas – These produce too much insulin, causing weakness, loss of energy, dizziness and drowsiness. These tumors are nearly always benign, meaning non-malignant and non-cancerous. Insulinoma is the most common and well-known islet cell tumor of the pancreas, accounting for more than 75-80% of sporadic functioning pancreatic islet cell tumors.
PPomas – These are also usually malignant, meaning cancerous.
Somatostatinomas – Produces too much of a hormone called somatostatin. This causes gall stones, diabetes and diarrhoea with bulky fatty and smelly stools (steatorrhoea). These tumors are mostly malignant, meaning cancerous.
VIPomas – Produces too much of a hormone called VIP. This causes a great deal of watery diarrhoea, flushing of the face, and high blood pressure. These tumors are mostly malignant, meaning cancerous.