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Pancreatic Cancer & Disease

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Pancreatic cancer and disease is a large category of diseases that affects the pancreas, an organ that cleanses the body of impurities. The pancreas is a six-inch long organ that appears like a pear lying on its side within the body. The pancreas is important in the role of digestion. It secretes hormones, such as insulin, in order to assist the body in processing sugar. The pancreas also produces digestive juices that help the body digest food. There are a number of diseases that impact the pancreas including:

  • Autoimmune Pancreatitus
  • Pancreas Divisum
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pancreatic Duct Stone
  • Strictures
  • Pancreatic Pseudocysts
  • Pancreatitis – acute and chronic

To learn more about Pancreatic Cancer & Disease, please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer and Disease

Symptoms vary depending on the type of disease the patient has. In some cases, symptoms may not appear right away, but over time. The most common symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer and disease include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice – yellowing of the skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss

In the case of pancreatic cancer, there may be no symptoms in the early stages. Pancreatic pseudocysts, while not life threatening, may present symptoms early on, resulting in mild to intense pain. It is critical to see a physician if any of the above symptoms appear so that a proper diagnosis can be made and treatment plan established.

Causes of Pancreatic Cancer and Disease

It is unclear what causes many pancreatic diseases, such as pancreatic cancer. When cells in the pancreas mutate in their DNA, pancreatic cancer may result. The mutations grow uncontrollably and form into a tumor.

Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer and Disease

Treatment varies and is determined by which pancreatic disease exists in the patient. For pancreatic cancer, a combination of therapy may be required, including surgery to remove the tumors, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

In order to treat diseases that affect the pancreas and the surrounding organs an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) may be used. The technique uses an endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose the problems. Conditions of the bile ducts are often treated in this manner.

Pancreatitis is often treated with surgery to remove bile duct obstructions or to remove the diseased tissue. Pain management and hospitalization are required until the condition is stabilized and the inflammation of the pancreas is controlled. Often, when treating pancreatic conditions, the underlying causes are treated first.

To learn more about Pancreatic Cancer & Disease, please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.