Saturday, March 2, 2024

How Long Does Pancreatic Cancer Take To Develop

What Causes Pancreatic Cancer

New breakthroughs in pancreatic cancer treatment

Pancreatic cancer is believed to be caused by genetic changes , however, the exact cause for these mutations is unknown. Risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include:

  • This is one of the most common causes of pancreatic cancer
  • About 25% of pancreatic cancers are thought to be caused by cigarettesmoking
  • The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about twice as high among smokers compared to those who have never smoked
  • Being overweight or obese
  • People with a body mass index of 30 or more are about 20% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer
  • Gaining weight as an adult
  • Carrying extra weight around the waistline even in people who are not overweight
  • Workplace exposure to certain chemicals such as those used in the dry cleaning and metal working industries
  • About two-thirds of patients are at least 65 years old
  • The average age at diagnosis is 70
  • Gender: men are slightly more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than women
  • Race: African Americans are slightly more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than whites
  • Confirming The Diagnosis Of Pancreatic Cancer

    If non-invasive imaging is equivocal or negative, endoscopic ultrasonography will be necessary to conclusively diagnose pancreatic cancer. EUS utilizes high frequency ultrasound probes placed in the stomach and duodenum juxtaposed to the pancreas, and can identify small pancreatic and periampullary tumors. EUS has exquisite sensitivity to detect tumors as small as 10 mm in size. It also has the capability of providing histologic confirmation of the diagnosis using fine needle aspiration . Thus the technology now exists to detect and confirm the diagnosis of even minute pancreatic cancers.

    The commonest abnormalities seen in high risk kindreds are changes consistent with chronic pancreatitis . A recent study showed that the frequency of EUS abnormalities in patients without clinical evidence of chronic pancreatitis increases with age, particularly after 60 years of age . In another study alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking affected the endosonographic appearance of the pancreas in a dose-dependent fashion these variables also were independent predictors of significant pancreatic abnormalities in healthy individuals.

    Signs Vs Symptoms Of Cancer

    Signs and symptoms of disease can be two different things:

    • A sign is something that can be observed by another person, such as a change in skin color or wheezing.
    • A symptom is something you feel, such as fatigue or pain, that isnt obvious to others.

    The nature of cancer signs and symptoms differ greatly, depending on where the cancer is located.

    Bladder cancer, for instance, causes blood in the urine, while brain cancer triggers terrible headaches.

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    What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need

    The main ways to treat pancreatic cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Ask your doctor what treatments can help you. Even for cancers that are more advanced and harder to treat, treatment can often make symptoms better and slow down the cancer’s growth. Talk with your doctor to find out your options.

    The treatment plan thats best for you will depend on:

    • The stage and grade of the cancer
    • The chance that a type of treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
    • Other health problems you have
    • Your feelings about the treatment and the side effects that come with it

    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

    Breast cancer drug could create chink in the armour of pancreatic ...

    Develop an open and cooperative relationship with your healthcare provider. Take a list of questions with you so you remember to get the answers you need to live your best life. These questions might include:

    • What stage is the cancer? What does this mean for me?
    • What are my treatment options? Which do you recommend and why?
    • What side effects might I develop as a result of treatment?
    • Is genetic testing right for me?
    • Am I able to be a part of a clinical trial?
    • Will I be able to keep working and doing the things that I need or want to do every day?
    • Are there situations in which I need to call you immediately or get emergency care?
    • Can you tell me where to find financial support?
    • Can you tell me where to find emotional support?
    • What should I do to stay as healthy as I can?

    Make sure to follow the plan that you and your provider agree on. Keep to the schedule of follow-up appointments and testing.

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    What Is The Pancreas

    The pancreas is a small, hockey stick-shaped gland located behind the stomach. The main jobs of the pancreas are to aid in food digestion and regulate blood sugar levels in the body. The pancreas is involved in maintaining blood sugar levels because it makes insulin and glucagon, two hormones that control blood sugar levels.

    How Is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed

    Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed with a patient history and physical exam, along with tests such as:

    • Multiphase CT scan or a pancreatic protocol CT scan
    • CT-guided needle biopsy
  • Positron emission tomography scan
  • Percutaneous biopsy
  • Endoscopic biopsy
  • Can help determine what treatments might be useful
  • Family members of the patient may consider genetic counseling and testing
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    What Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer Means

    Doctors use stages when they talk about how cancer has grown or spread. Stage 4 is the last stage. It means that cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. When this happens, cancer is called metastatic.

    One way to stage cancer is called the TNM system. It has 3 parts:

    • T : This part is based on how big a tumor is and where it has spread to. The T rating goes from T0 to T4. In stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the primary tumor can have any T rating.
    • N : Lymph nodes help filter substances in the body. When cancer cells get to the lymph nodes, it’s easier for them to spread. Stage 4 pancreatic cancer can have an N rating of N1 or N2 .
    • M : Metastasis means cancer has spread to other organs and lymph nodes. There are only two M stages: M0 or M1. Any pancreatic cancer with an M1 rating is at stage 4.

    What Are The Stages Of Pancreatic Cancer

    Pancreatic Cancer: Treatment and Outcomes

    Pancreatic cancer is categorized into five different stages. Your diagnosis depends on the size and location of the tumor and whether or not the cancer has spread:

    • Stage 0: Also known as carcinoma in situ, Stage 0 is characterized by abnormal cells in the lining of the pancreas. The cells could become cancerous and spread to nearby tissue.
    • Stage 1: The tumor is in the pancreas.
    • Stage 2: The tumor is in the pancreas and has either spread to nearby tissues, organs or lymph nodes.
    • Stage 3: The cancer has spread to major blood vessels near the pancreas. It may have also spread to nearby lymph nodes.
    • Stage 4: In stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the cancer has spread to distant areas in the body, such as the liver, lungs or abdominal cavity. It has possibly spread to organs, tissues or lymph nodes near the pancreas.

    Be sure to talk with your provider about your situation. Understanding your pancreatic cancer prognosis can help you make an informed decision about your treatment.

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    How Is Pancreatic Cancer Staged

    Pancreatic cancer is usually staged differently than other types of cancers. While many cancers are staged using the TNM system, which categorizes tumors based on diagnostic tests and classifications that happen during surgery, many patients with pancreatic cancer dont have surgery, so the TNM system isnt used as often to stage these diseases.

    Instead, pancreatic cancer tumors are more often classified into one of four categories based on where they have spread and whether theyre able to be removed during surgery. The categories are as follows:


    This type of cancer hasnt spread outside the pancreas or has only gone just past it. Resectable cancer can be removed by surgery.

    Borderline resectable

    With this type of pancreatic cancer, the tumor may, when first diagnosed, appear to be too difficult to remove surgically. However, surgery may still be an option if the tumor can be reduced in size through radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment.

    Locally advanced

    Locally advanced cancer has spread just beyond the pancreas and may have reached nearby arteries, veins or organswhich means surgery is not an option. However, it hasnt spread into more distant areas of the body.


    Metastatic cancer has spread beyond the pancreas into distant areas of the body, such as the liver, abdomen or lungs. If youve been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, your care team will let you know the stage of your cancer, along with what it means for your treatment plan.

    How Can I Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

    We dont know what actually causes pancreatic cancer, so its difficult to know how to prevent it. However, you can change your day-to-day behaviors to become healthier. These tips may help reduce the risk of getting pancreatic cancer:

    • Dont smoke. If you do smoke or use tobacco in any form, try to quit.
    • Try to reach and maintain a normal weight by eating healthy and exercising.
    • Drink alcohol in moderation, or quit drinking altogether.
    • Try to avoid getting diabetes. If you have it, control your blood sugar levels.
    • Use safety equipment if your work exposes you to toxins.

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    Significance Of This Study

    What is already known on this subject?

    • Evidence based on mutational analysis predicts that pancreatic cancers are confined to the pancreas for many years, perhaps a decade or more before spreading beyond the pancreas.

    • Clinical experience indicates that most patients with advanced stage pancreatic cancer progress rapidly.

    • Certain patient characteristics are associated with an earlier average age of pancreatic cancer diagnosis, such as cigarette smoking and African-American ethnicity.

    What are the new findings?

    • We find, after adjusting for factors associated with age at diagnosis, the average age differences of patients with larger versus smaller T stage tumours is small and often not statistically significant, suggesting that most pancreatic cancers rapidly progress from lower to higher T stages.

    • We estimate that the average T1-stage pancreatic cancer progresses to T4 stage in just over 1year.

    How might it impact on clinical practice in the foreseeable future?

    • Recommendations for the surveillance of patients undergoing pancreatic screening need to take into account the potential for the rapid progression of pancreatic cancer.

    • To avoid detecting late-stage cancers, early detection efforts have to focus on detecting and treating very small subcentimeter pancreatic cancers and carcinoma in situ.

    What Types Of Pancreatic Cysts Are There

    About Pancreatic Cancer

    Cysts in the pancreas can arise as the result of several different processes. There are approximately five major types of pancreatic cysts, depending upon how they developed, where they are located and what they are made out of. Most pancreatic cysts are benign non-neoplastic lesions resulting from pancreatitis. However, benign neoplastic cysts are slightly more common in women.

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    How Long Do You Have To Live With Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

  • How Long Do You Have to Live with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer? Topic Guide
  • Life expectancy for pancreatic cancer is often expressed in 5-year survival rates, that is, how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis.

    Pancreatic cancer 5-year survival rates chart

    Pancreatic cancer stage
    Localized 37%
    Regional 12%
    Distant 3%

    The life expectancy for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is very low, estimated to be about three to five months. By stage 4, pancreatic cancer has spread to and damaged surrounding organs, which makes it difficult to treat.

    Signs That Pancreatic Cancer Has Spread

    If your pancreatic cancer has spread, you may notice new symptoms. Most often, pancreatic cancer spreads to the liver, but it can also move into the lymph nodes, abdomen, lungs and, sometimes, the bones.

    Advanced pancreatic cancer symptoms may include:

    • General feeling of being unwell
    • Swollen stomach caused by fluid buildup
    • Lack of appetite

    If you experience any of these symptoms, check with your doctor to determine a cause. Also, keep in mind that these symptoms may be due to other conditions.

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    Surgery To Look Inside The Tummy

    If other tests have not confirmed a diagnosis, you may have a small operation to look inside the tummy at the pancreas. This is called a laparoscopy.

    The surgeon puts a thin tube called a laparoscopy through a small cut they make in your tummy. You have this done under a general anaesthetic.

    Rarely if a laparoscopy is not suitable you may have a bigger operation called a laparotomy instead. This is when the surgeon makes a larger cut in the tummy so they can see the pancreas.

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    What Is Pancreatic Cancer

    Pancreatic Cancer | Eric’s Story

    Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the pancreas. It happens when exocrine cells start to change and grow out of control, crowding out normal cells.

    Your pancreas has 2 jobs:

    • It makes a substance that helps break down the food you eat.
    • it makes hormones that help control the levels of sugar, insulin, and other substances in your blood.

    Pancreatic cancer starts in the type of cells that help break down food . But there’s another, less common type of pancreatic cancer that starts from the cells that make hormones . If you’ve been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, ask your doctor which type you have. The two types of pancreatic cancer are treated differently and have different outlooks.

    Ask your doctor to use this picture to show you where your cancer is located.

    Pancreatic cancer can spread to other parts of the body. When cancer does this, it’s called metastasis. But the type of cancer is based on the type of cells it started from. So even if a pancreatic cancer spreads to your liver, for example, it is still called a pancreatic cancer, not liver cancer.

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    Positron Emission Tomography Scan

    A positron emission tomography scan can help to show where the cancer is and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

    Before the scan, you’ll be given an injection of a very small amount of a radioactive medication, known as a tracer. The amount of radiation is very small and no more than you would receive from a normal X-ray.

    The most common tracer used is a radioactive form of glucose . You’ll then rest for about an hour to allow the tracer to travel to areas in your body where glucose is used for energy.

    The scan itself can take up to an hour and produces an image of the tracer in your body. The tracer shows up cancers because they use glucose in a different way to normal tissue.

    Is Chemo Worth It For Pancreatic Cancer

    Chemotherapy may help to control the cancer, and help with symptoms. It wont cure the cancer, but it may help you live longer and feel better generally. You will need to be well enough for chemotherapy. You will have a scan every three months to see how well the chemotherapy is working and how it is affecting you.

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    Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis & Survival

    Each year more than 50,000 people in the United States are now diagnosed with pancreatic cancer . The prognosis is such that most of these people will have passed by the end of the first year. In the U.S., pancreatic cancer is 9th or 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer , but the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men and women.

    Each year more than 50,000 people in the United States are now diagnosed with pancreatic cancer . The prognosis is such that most of these people will have passed by the end of the first year. In the U.S., pancreatic cancer is 9th or 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer , but the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men and women.

    The prognosis of pancreatic cancer is a very tough, though the survival rates have been incrementally improving particularly over the past ten to fifteen years. It is important to realize that each person is individual each cancer is different. Statistics can only indicate what tends to happen in the aggregate, and not in the case of an individual person.

    The median survival duration from the time of diagnosis until demise is arguably the worst of any of the cancers certainly of the major cancers. The median survival for untreated advanced pancreatic cancer is about 3 1/2 months with good treatment this increases to about eight months, though many will live much longer. We have encountered nine and eleven and twelve year survivors.

    Diabetes As A Risk Factor

    Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

    Having diabetes also may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

    If you have type 2 diabetes or have had diabetes for several years, you may be more at risk than those with type 1 diabetes, according to the American Cancer Society. Scientists dont know exactly why pancreatic cancer is more common in diabetics in general. But its important to keep in mind that having diabetes is not a sure indication that youll develop pancreatic cancer.

    Expert cancer care

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    Questions To Ask The Doctor

    • Do you know the stage of the cancer?
    • If not, how and when will you find out the stage of the cancer?
    • Would you explain to me what the stage means in my case?
    • Based on the stage of the cancer, how long do you think Ill live?
    • What is the grade of the cancer and what will that mean for treatment?
    • What will happen next?

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