Scientists have identified several risk factors that increase one’s chances of developing pancreatic cancer. Some of them include smoking, obesity, chronic pancreatitis and family history. However, the signs and symptoms of this disease typically does not manifest till the tumor grows large enough to press against nearby structures like intestines, nerves or bile duct. Therefore the diagnosis is often made during the later stages of the disease course. The most common signs and symptoms include jaundice, weight loss, changes in fatty tissues and swollen gallbladder. Research has proved that preventive strategies like smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly can significantly reduce the risk of cancer and its recurrence. Numerous studies are currently underway to find a promising technique for early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic Cancer Pancreatic cancer is one of the fastest spreading and deadliest cancers known to man with a survival rate of only 4% in patients five years after diagnosis (Bodies exhibition, 2011). It is typically defined as a “disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas” (National Cancer Institute, n.d.). ...
This is the primary reason why pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths (Mayo Clinic, 2010). There are two main types of pancreatic tumors: 1. Exocrine pancreatic cancer is the most common type of pancreatic cancer and starts in the ducts that carry pancreatic juices (National Cancer Institute, 2010d). Nearly 95% of exocrine pancreatic cancers are adenocarcenomas i.e., it starts in the gland cells. They are mostly malignant. 2. Endocrine pancreatic cancer, also known as islet cell cancer, starts in the cells that make hormones (National Cancer Institute, 2010d). They are relatively less common and can be benign or malignant. Additionally, pancreatic cancer is divided into four stages with stage I being the earliest and stage IV being the most advanced (Nugent, n.d.). Patients in stage I and stage II pancreatic cancer are considered to have ‘resectable’ cancer that can be fully removed by surgery. Patients in stage III pancreatic cancer have ‘locally advanced unresectable’ cancer wherein the chance of cure is lost but radiation treatment is an option. Patients in stage IV pancreatic cancer have ‘metastatic’ cancer wherein chemotherapy is recommended for controlling the symptoms and extending the life of the patient. In particular, the American Cancer Society (2011a) estimates that, nearly 43,920 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be identified in the U.S. in 2012. Again, the disease will be responsible for 37,390 deaths in the country (American Cancer Society, 2011a). This disease has been increasing at a rate of 1.5% every year (American Cancer Society, 2011a). The lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 71 ...Show more
Stronger through My Mom's Cancer Essay
596 Words3 Pages
Everything is perfectly fine, everything is great, then one day it all comes crashing down and shattered pieces are left. My life would never be the same but I guess change is for the best and it forced me to become the person I am today. It’s rough to be the oldest child, especially when your mom is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and you have 3 younger sisters that look to you for comfort when their mom can’t be there. When the cancer is spread throughout your moms body doctors can’t just get rid of it no matter how badly you wish they could. Rounds of chemotherapy only slow it down, yet it’s still there a lurking monster waiting to reappear at any given moment. Nothing can even begin to describe the fear I felt, and still have to deal…show more content…
An ambulance came and carried out my mom. I didn’t know what was going on, so many questions running through my mind, what was wrong with her, was she going to be ok. I was scared, more scared then I had ever been. My sister Sheridan who was 8 asked me “what’s happening?” through tears. On that day a little piece of me began to change because if I let her see my fear that would not help anyone, and so even though I didn’t know what was happening I responded “everything is going to be ok” even though I did not trust my own words. When my dad came home that evening he sat me down and asked me if I knew what cancer was. I had an idea so I just nodded my head, he went on to tried to explain to me how bad the cancer was that my mom had been diagnosed with. Seeing my dad so afraid scared me. The fear I felt then led me to realize that I needed to try and hide it because it would only hurt my dad more to see his children so upset. I did my best to help, I tucked my little sisters into bed while my mom was away at the hospital, read them stories and did the best I could at preparing snacks to comfort them. After my mom arrived home and she recovered from the surgery she started chemotherapy. The miserable treatment that attacks the cancer also makes her very ill. Every other week she was sick. Before every bad week I wanted to cry, but that wouldn’t help anyone. Lane and Kenna already were crying, if I cried it could only hurt my parents