What You Need to Know About Pancreatic Cancer

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The pancreatic cancer  is the type of cancer / cancer of the pancreas more common - 90% of cases of malignant neoplasm of the body. Currently, is the 5th cause of cancer death in the West. Data from the National Cancer Institute (INCA) to pose as 2% of all types of cancer and 4% of all cancer deaths. In the U.S., about 28 thousand people a year are diagnosed. It is a high mortality rate due to late diagnosis and its characteristic very aggressive. The median survival at 5 years is less than 0.4% after the diagnosis time of life is on average 4 to 6 months. If the tumor is ressecável the median survival at 5 years is less than 20% on average 13 to 20 months of life after surgery. Slightly more common in men and more in black. Rare before the age of 30, more common after 60 years.




Tumors of the pancreas may be: pancreatic pseudotumor, endocrine tumors, cystic neoplasms, solid tumors, hematopoietic or mesenchymal neoplasm. The adenocarcinomas or carcinomas are the most common, can be divided by histologic type in ductal (90%), papillary mucosal intraductais, acinar cell carcinoma, cistoadenocarcinomas (malignancy of the mucous cistoadenomas) or pancreatoblastomas.

Smoking is the primary, increasing the risk of developing cancer of the pancreas in up to 8 times (tobacco-specific nitrosamines that reach the pancreas by the blood and bile).

Factors such as nutritional intake of calories of animal origin (fat / meat stimulates the release of colecistoquinina that can cause hyperplasia / hypertrophy of pancreatic acinar cells), obesity and high caloric intake by itself also increases the risk. Physical exercise reduces the risk.

Alcohol is not well defined as a specific risk factor. The coffee has been identified as one of the causes of cancer of the pancreas but the more recent studies did not confirm this hypothesis. Similarly pesticides, formaldehyde and organochlorines are not confirmed.

The hereditary chronic pancreatitis is another well-established risk factor. Other diseases associated with an increased risk are familial polyposis (Peutz-Jeghers) Syndrome von Hippel-Lindau, Lynch II, ataxia-telangectasia, familial breast cancer and melanoma of skin relatives.

As in all cases of cancer, weight loss is common and important. The growth of the tumor is slow and when it leads to an advanced framework for jaundice. There are tests that can guide the diagnosis, such as tumor markers, the most used for tumors of the pancreas is the CA 19-9. Imaging examinations will serve to close the diagnosis being the most common ultrasound, CT, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, magnetic colangiorressonância and PET.

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