Causes Of Pancreatic Cancer

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Pancreatic cancer occurs when malignant (cancerous) cells develop within the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas produces digestive juices and hormones that regulate blood sugar. Cells called exocrine pancreas cells produce the digestive juices, while cells called endocrine pancreas cells produce the hormones. The majority of pancreatic cancers start in the exocrine cells. (WebMD, 2015) Pancreatic cancer is the cause of the 4th most cancer deaths in the United States of American with a median of six or less months and a 5-year survival rate of 4.6%. The lethal nature of pancreatic cancer stems from its propensity to rapidly disseminate to the lymphatic system and distant organs. (Sarkar, 2007) The most common form of pancreatic cancer is…show more content…
Other causes, such as gallstones, hepatitis, and other liver diseases, are much more common. Pain in the abdomen or back is common in pancreatic cancer. Cancers that start in the body or tail of the pancreas can grow fairly large and start to press on other nearby organs, causing pain. The cancer may also spread to the nerves surrounding the pancreas, which often causes back pain. Of course, pain in the abdomen or back is fairly common and is most often caused by something other than pancreatic cancer. Unintended weight loss is very common in people with pancreatic cancer. These people often have little or no appetite. (America Cancer Society,…show more content…
Two of the main pancreatic hormones are insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar, and glucagon, which acts to raise blood sugar. Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is crucial to the functioning of key organs including the brain, liver, and kidneys. (Columbia, 2015)

In pancreatic cancer, cancer cells in the pancreas grow and multiply quickly, which can cause a tumor to grow. In stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a cancerous tumor has begun in the pancreas and has spread beyond the pancreas into parts of the body far from the pancreas. It may also have spread to the lymph nodes and the organs and tissues found near the pancreas. The effect of this tumor on the body depends on where the tumor is, how it has spread, and how large it is. If the tumor blocks the flow of bile, which is produced in the
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