What Side Of The Body Is Your Pancreas – Pancreatic cancer affects your pancreas, a gland in your abdomen that helps with digestion. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include nausea, bloating, fatigue, jaundice and lack of appetite. Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Pancreatic cancer survival rates are low because the disease is difficult to detect in its early stages.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in your pancreas mutate (change) and multiply out of control to form a tumor. Your pancreas is a gland in your abdomen (abdomen), between your spine and stomach. It makes hormones that control blood sugar and enzymes that help with digestion.

What Side Of The Body Is Your Pancreas

What Side Of The Body Is Your Pancreas

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

What Side Is Your Pancreas On?

Early-stage pancreatic tumors do not show up on imaging tests. Because of this, many people do not receive a diagnosis until the cancer has spread (metastasized). Pancreatic cancer is also resistant to many common cancer drugs, making it notoriously difficult to treat.

Ongoing research focuses on early detection using genetic testing and new imaging methods. Still, there is much 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 assigned male at birth, and the 8th most common cancer in women and people assigned female at birth.

Cases of pancreatic cancer are increasing. Trends suggest 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 symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Symptoms usually appear once the tumor begins to affect other organs in your digestive system.

Your health care provider may suspect pancreatic cancer if you have recently had diabetes or pancreatitis, a painful condition caused by inflammation of the pancreas.

What Side Of The Body Is Your Pancreas

Symptoms of pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma 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 symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Some people develop vague symptoms up to a year before receiving a diagnosis.

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

There is no definite 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 its early stages. That’s because healthcare providers can’t feel your pancreas during routine exams, and it’s difficult 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 Of The Body Is Your Pancreas

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

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

During this procedure, the surgeon will make several small incisions (incisions) in your abdomen and insert a long tube with a camera at the end. This allows them to see inside your abdomen and look for abnormalities. They will often perform a biopsy during the same procedure.

If you receive a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, you should consider genetic testing. This can tell you if there is a hereditary reason why you 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 a mutation, it does not mean you will get cancer. But knowing your 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 real way to cure pancreatic cancer. But surgeons only recommend it if they think they can remove the entire cancer. Otherwise, there is little or no benefit.

For surgery to be successful, the cancer must be completely confined to the pancreas. Even then, complete removal of the cancer may not be possible.

What Side Of The Body Is Your Pancreas

If the tumor is in the head of the pancreas (the widest part of the pancreas near the small intestine), your provider may recommend a 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 connect your remaining bile duct and pancreas to your small intestine. This will restore your digestive tract.

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

Because your spleen helps fight infections, your healthcare provider may recommend certain vaccinations before a distal pancreatectomy.

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

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

Chemotherapy uses drugs that destroy cancer cells. Health care providers give these drugs in pill form or through an IV in the 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 Of The Body Is Your Pancreas

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 (chemoradiation). 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 the growth and spread of cancer cells. Providers may combine targeted therapy with other treatments, such as radiation therapy.

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

If you have pancreatic cancer and you start experiencing 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 for pancreatic cancer due to a genetic predisposition, providers recommend monitoring with imaging tests and endoscopic ultrasounds.

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

A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be overwhelming. Because everyone is unique, no two cases are the same. 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 Of The Body Is Your Pancreas

Generally, it takes about 10 to 20 years for a single cancer cell in your pancreas to turn into a tumor. Ongoing research aims to find out 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 diagnosis.

Survival rates are estimates only. 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 definite symptoms for early stage pancreatic cancer. However, you should see your healthcare provider immediately if you develop:

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

Definition Of Pancreas

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

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