World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2022
World Pancreatic Cancer Day observed on the 17th of November 2022, aims at creating awareness about pancreatic cancer, and educating the public about its signs, symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. World Pancreatic Cancer Day was initiated by the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition.
Pancreatic cancer occurs when the cells in the pancreas begin multiplying and dividing abnormally. Pancreas is present in the abdomen behind the lower portion of the stomach. The function of the pancreas is to help in digestion of food and regulate the levels of blood sugar in the body. Pancreas produces two hormones that aid in the regulation of the blood sugar levels. These two hormones are insulin and glucagon.
Let’s create awareness by learning more about the signs and causes of pancreatic cancer
Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer don’t become prominent until the cancer has advanced. The following are the signs and symptoms for pancreatic cancer that are seen as the disease progresses include the following,
- Pain in the upper abdomen that moves to the back
- Appetite loss
- Unexplained and sudden loss of weight
- Urine with a dark colour
- New diabetes or worsening of the existing one
- Nausea, vomiting
- Light coloured stools
- Jaundice (yellowing on the skin and on the whites of the eyes)
- Formation of blood clots
- Itchy skin
Causes Of Pancreatic Cancer
The exact causes of pancreatic cancer are not known. However, there are certain risk factors that are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. These risk factors include,
1. Smoking: People who are habituated to smoking are at an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
2. Pancreatitis: It is an inflammation of the pancreas that might occur due to smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. A person having chronic pancreatitis is at an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
3. Obesity: People who are obese or are overweight and have a lot of weight around the waist are also at risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
4. Family history: Having a family history of pancreatic cancer acts as a risk factor for developing it.
5. Old age: People who are aged about 65 are at a risk of pancreatic cancer development.
6. Diabetes: Having diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes acts as a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer.
7. Hereditary syndromes: A family history of having hereditary or genetic syndrome like BRCA gene mutations, and lynch syndrome also acts as potential risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer.
Treatment Of Pancreatic Cancer
There are various treatment options available to treat pancreatic cancer. Depending upon the type and stage of cancer, and the overall health of the patient, the healthcare provider will choose the best treatment plan. This treatment plan might contain the following individual treatments or a combination of them. The treatments available for pancreatic cancer include,
- Radiation therapy or radiotherapy
- Targeted therapy
Awareness And Preventive Measures To Combat Pancreatic Cancer
Although pancreatic cancer can happen to anyone, the risk is particularly high in certain people. Where various risk factors like family history, age and genetic factors cannot be changed, certain risk factors like smoking, obesity and diabetes are in our control.
This World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2022, spread the word among the people you know about the various symptoms and risk factors of pancreatic cancer. Encourage them to adapt a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy nutrient rich diet, exercising regularly and quitting the habit of smoking and drinking.