What Is Pancreatic Cancer?

The pancreas is a tiny hockey-shaped gland that aids digestion by generating enzymes and also regulates hormones. It is essential for the body's blood sugar levels to be maintained. The hormones insulin and glucagon are made by the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer occurs when the cells or tissues present in the pancreas undergo multiplication and form tumours. The ducts carrying digestive enzymes are generally the source of origination of cancer cells. The mass of cells formed can either be benign or malignant.

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What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?

Following are the causes of pancreatic cancer that need to be dealt with carefully.

  • Usually, pancreatic cancer develops when the cells related to it undergo changes in its DNA. The modifications in DNA lead to the multiplication of cells and show the growth uncontrollably.
  • If a person is suffering from pancreatitis (chronic inflammation of the pancreas), smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • BRCA2 gene mutation, familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome, or Lynch syndrome can lead to the development of pancreatic cancer as well.
  • Suffering from diabetes (especially type 2) at an older age can lead to the possibility of pancreatic cancer.

Types of Pancreatic Cancer

These are the types of pancreatic cancer that need to be studied in detail.

  • Non-endocrine or exocrine pancreatic cancer

    Exocrine pancreatic cancer occurs in the exocrine cells that are present in the eggs and glands. The exact line gland produces enzymes that help convert complex substances into simpler ones in the duodenum.

  • Adenocarcinoma

    It is the most commonly occurring carcinoma of the pancreas that occurs in the lining of its ducts. These cancer cells may also release enzymes and are then termed acinar cell carcinoma. The increased amount of pancreatic enzymes may lead to joint pain and skin rashes.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma

    It is a rare form of pancreatic cancer in which the squamous cells turn cancerous. The area of the pancreatic ducts made purely of squamous cells is affected.

  • Adenosquamous carcinoma

    It is an aggressive form of carcinoma and spreads quickly in the entire body. These tumours exhibit the features of both squamous and adenocarcinoma.

  • Colloid Carcinoma

    Colloid carcinoma generally accounts for 1 to 3 percent of the exocrine pancreatic cancer. Often, a benign cyst called intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm may lead to formation of cancerous cells. Since there is a presence of malignant cells in the fluid, it spreads much much more quickly than other cancers.

  • Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer

    The cells present in the endocrine gland of the pancreas release hormones like insulin and glucagon to regulate the blood sugar levels. These are also known as endocrine or islet cell tumours.

  • Benign Precancerous Lesions

    Certain benign tumours or cysts hold the potential for developing into pancreatic cancer. The intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasms can also form tumours in the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Initially, the symptoms may not be visible in the early stage but as the disease progresses, the following issues may be observed:

  • Pain in the upper abdominal area that might spread to the back as well.
  • Fatigue, loss of appetite, dark-coloured pee, or light coloured stools may also be observed.
  • Weight loss, itchiness and yellowing of skin, and whites of eyes are also experienced.
  • There could be formation of clots in the body, feeling nauseous, vomiting, and new or worsening diabetes.

Stages of Pancreatic Cancer

The stages of pancreatic cancer need to be understood in detail.

  • Stage 0

    The stage 0 is also termed carcinoma in situ. It is identified by the presence of abnormal cells in the lining of pancreas.

  • Stage 1

    At this stage, the tumour is formed in the pancreas.

  • Stage 2

    The tumour at this stage may have spread to surrounding tissues, lymph nodes, or organs.

  • Stage 3

    The cancer at this stage spreads to the blood vessels surrounding the pancreas. The possibility of spreading near lymph nodes is also increased.

  • Stage 4

    At this stage, the cancer turns severe and moves to distant organs like lungs, liver,etc.

What Are The Complications?

Weight loss is one of the consequences that might occur as pancreatic cancer advances. People with pancreatic cancer may lose weight because the malignancy consumes more energy. Malignancy therapies may produce nausea and vomiting, or a malignancy pressing on the stomach, making it difficult to eat.

Why Karma Ayurveda?

There are several medicinal solutions in Ayurveda like the use of herbs that are known to have anticancer properties and help in the prevention of the same. The use of natural herbs, medications, and certain plant extracts has been proven to be effective and beneficial for pancreatic cancer patients.

Karma Ayurveda uses only natural methods, and the Ayurvedic approach assures that medicinal qualities are transferred to the body. It can also be taken in conjunction with allopathic treatments to minimise symptoms and negative effects.

Ayurveda allows for rejuvenation of the pancreas and aids in its restoration. Its goal is to cleanse, detoxify, and improve the human immune system. The healing procedure is gradual and focuses on the underlying cause of the disorders.

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