What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On – Pancreatic cancer affects the pancreas, a gland in the abdomen that helps with digestion. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include nausea, bloating, fatigue, jaundice and lack of appetite. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is low because the disease is difficult to detect in its early stages.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas mutate (change) and multiply out of control, forming a tumor. Your pancreas is a gland in your abdomen (belly), between your spine and stomach. It produces hormones that control blood sugar levels and enzymes that aid in digestion.

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

Most pancreatic cancers begin in the pancreatic ducts. The main pancreatic duct (duct of Wirsung) connects the pancreas to the common bile duct.

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Early-stage pancreatic tumors do not show up on imaging tests. For this reason, many people are not diagnosed until the cancer has spread (metastasized). Pancreatic cancer is also resistant to many common cancer drugs, making it extremely difficult to treat.

Current research focuses on early detection through genetic testing and new imaging methods. Still, there’s a lot to learn.

Pancreatic cancer is responsible for approximately 3% of all cancers in the United States. It is the 10th most common cancer in men and people identified as male at birth, and the 8th most common cancer in women and people identified as female at birth.

Cases of pancreatic cancer are on the rise. Trends show that pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2030.

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Unfortunately, there are no early signs of pancreatic cancer. Symptoms usually appear after the tumor begins to affect other organs in the digestive system.

Your healthcare provider may suspect pancreatic cancer if you have recently developed diabetes or pancreatitis, a painful condition due to inflammation in the pancreas.

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

Symptoms of neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer may differ from traditional pancreatic cancer symptoms, such as jaundice or weight loss. Symptoms can vary but may include diarrhea and anemia.

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There are no telltale early signs of pancreatic cancer. Some people develop vague symptoms for up to a year before receiving a diagnosis.

Many people report that their first symptoms of pancreatic cancer were back or stomach pain. These symptoms may come and go at first, but may worsen after eating or when you lie down.

There is no clear answer. We don’t know exactly what causes pancreatic cancer. But experts have identified some risk factors.

A risk factor is something that increases your chances of getting a certain disease. Common risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

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Pancreatic cancer tends to spread (metastasize) to nearby blood vessels, lymph nodes and then to the liver, peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity) and lungs.

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect in the early stages. That’s because healthcare providers can’t feel your pancreas during routine exams, and it’s hard to see these tumors on routine imaging tests.

A pancreatic blood test can detect tumor markers. A tumor marker is a substance that can indicate the presence of cancer.

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

For pancreatic cancer, high levels of carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9 — a type of protein released by pancreatic cancer cells — may indicate a tumor.

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During this procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions (cuts) in your abdomen and inserts a long tube with a camera on the end. This allows them to see the inside of your abdomen and look for abnormalities. Often they will take a biopsy during the same procedure.

If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you should consider genetic testing. This can tell you if there is a hereditary reason that you have developed pancreatic cancer. It can also help your healthcare provider determine which type of treatment will be most effective for you.

If you are a first-degree relative (parent, child, or sibling) of someone who has pancreatic cancer, you should consider genetic testing. Your results can tell you whether you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Keep in mind that even if you have the mutation, it doesn’t mean you will get cancer. But knowing the risk is important.

If you have specific questions about pancreatic cancer staging, talk to your healthcare provider. Understanding your pancreatic cancer diagnosis can help you make an informed decision about your treatment.

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Although pancreatic cancer has a low survival rate, complete remission is possible with early detection and treatment. The only way to realistically cure pancreatic cancer is to completely remove the cancer surgically.

Surgery is the only realistic way to cure pancreatic cancer. But surgeons only recommend it when they think they can remove all the cancer. Otherwise, there is almost no use.

For the operation to be successful, the cancer must be completely contained within the pancreas. Even then, complete removal of the cancer may not be possible.

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

If the tumor is in the head of the pancreas (the widest part of the pancreas, near the small intestine), your provider may recommend the Whipple procedure. This surgical approach removes the head of the pancreas, the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), the gallbladder, part of the bile duct, and nearby lymph nodes.

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Your surgeon will then attach your remaining bile duct and pancreas to your small intestine. This restores your digestive tract.

If the tumor is in the tail of the pancreas, the surgeon may perform a distal pancreatectomy. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the tail of your pancreas and part of the body of the pancreas. In most cases, they will also remove your spleen.

Because your spleen helps fight infection, your healthcare provider may recommend getting certain vaccinations before you have distal pancreatitis.

If the cancer has spread throughout your pancreas but resection (removal) is still possible, your healthcare provider may consider total pancreatectomy. This surgery removes the entire pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, and part of the stomach and small intestine.

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It is possible to live without a pancreas, but it can cause serious side effects. Your pancreas produces insulin and other hormones that keep your blood sugar at a safe level. Without a pancreas you will develop diabetes and need insulin injections to survive. You will also need to take pancreatic enzyme pills to help with digestion.

Chemotherapy uses drugs that kill cancer cells. Healthcare providers give these drugs in pill form or through an IV in your arm.

Providers use chemotherapy as a stand-alone treatment — especially for people with advanced pancreatic cancer. They may also recommend chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. Healthcare providers commonly use this approach to treat pancreatic cancer.

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Most often, providers combine radiation therapy with chemotherapy (chemotherapy). They may recommend it before surgery, after surgery, or as part of your main cancer treatment. Radiation therapy can also help relieve the symptoms of pancreatic cancer in people who are not eligible for surgery (in cases of advanced cancer).

This treatment uses drugs that “target” certain proteins. These proteins control how cancer cells grow and spread. Providers may combine targeted therapy with other treatments such as radiation therapy.

Pancreatic cancer can be very painful because it can affect nearby nerves. Your healthcare provider can help you manage your pain with oral medications, anesthesia, or steroid injections.

If you have pancreatic cancer and you start to develop severe and persistent pain, tell your healthcare provider. They can find a treatment that will relieve your symptoms.

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Health care providers do not usually perform routine screenings for pancreatic cancer. But for people at high risk of pancreatic cancer due to a genetic predisposition, providers recommend surveillance with imaging tests and endoscopic ultrasound.

If you have a first-degree family member (parents or siblings) with pancreatic cancer, you should talk to a healthcare provider about your risk of developing pancreatic cancer and appropriate screening and genetic testing.

A pancreatic cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming. Since everyone is unique, no two cases are alike. Your healthcare provider will assemble a team of experts to determine the best treatment plan for your situation. Your medical team may include:

What Side Is The Pancreas Located On

It usually takes about 10 to 20 years for a cancer cell in the pancreas to turn into a tumor. The goal of ongoing research is to determine how health care providers can detect pancreatic cancer in its earliest stages, when it is more treatable.

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In the United States, the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is 11%. This means that 11 out of 100 people are still alive five years after their diagnosis.

Survival rates are only approximate. They cannot tell you how long you will live or how well you will respond to treatment. If you have specific questions about survival rates and what they mean for you, talk to your healthcare provider.

There are no clear symptoms for early stage pancreatic cancer. However, you should see a healthcare provider immediately if you develop:

Develop an open, collaborative relationship with your healthcare provider. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, here are some questions to ask:

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A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be shocking and life-changing. Your healthcare provider is here to help you navigate this difficult time. You may consider joining local or online support

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