Malignant neoplasms pose a serious threat to human life. A particularly dangerous tumor is pancreatic cancer, since it is not always possible to detect the first symptoms of this disease. Therefore, each of us should be attentive even to the slightest negative changes in well-being. Which one exactly?
Briefly about the difficult
Due to the prevalence of smoking, malnutrition, overweight, many tumors, including malignant tumors, form on the pancreas. The risk of the development of this pathology in the elderly, as well as in patients with close relatives who have had such a disease or have diabetes, is increasing.
A neoplasm may appear on the head, body or tail of a given organ. This tumor metastases very early, which in most cases causes the patients to die. How long can you live with pancreatic cancer? Answering this difficult question, doctors give average results:
- without surgery - half a year;
- after removal of the formation - 1.5-3 years (only 8-35% of patients live for about 5 years);
- after palliative (to restore the functions of the digestive system) operation - from 6 months to 1 year.
What could be the reason for suspicion?
As you know, treatment will be more effective and significantly prolong the patient’s life if signs of pancreatic cancer were identified and classified on time. Unfortunately, the first symptoms of this disease are not bright enough, so people are rarely alarmed and forced to seek medical help. A person needs an urgent examination if:
- pain in the epigastric zone and under the ribs, extending to the back;
- the pain becomes shingles, increases in the dark;
- there are migratory thrombophlebitis;
- dramatically reduced weight for no apparent reason;
- after eating food under the spoon felt heavy;
- general weakness, constant exhaustion is felt.
If the head of the organ is affected, in the second stage of the disease are added:
- increasing jaundice - over time, the skin becomes greenish-brownish;
- severe itching in different places;
- white color of feces;
- refusal to eat;
- aversion to fatty foods;
- dyspeptic symptoms;
At this stage, the cancer grows and penetrates into various organs. Education sometimes becomes noticeable with palpation, the size of the liver and gallbladder increase, the bile ducts become blocked. If metastases have germinated in the stomach and intestines, bleeding often occurs or a narrowing of the organs is detected.
Much less often cause jaundice of a mechanical nature of cancer of the main part or the tip of the pancreas. Such cancer has special symptoms, because its manifestations are associated with metastasis in part of the venous and arterial systems, the spleen vessels. In addition, the proximity of the nerves to the tumor leads to a strong pain syndrome. With this form of the disease are possible:
- the appearance of diabetes;
- increase of pressure in the portal vein system due to blood flow disturbance;
- enlarged spleen.
Neoplasms consisting of islet cells are diagnosed early, since the process of excretion of chemicals is disturbed at the slightest lesions. This results in one or more of the following states:
- hyperglycemia and dermatitis;
- hyperglycemic crisis;
- frequent diarrhea;
- the deposition of fat on the face, neck and chest;
- muscle weakness;
- slow wound healing;
- visual disorders;
- headaches and dizziness;
- ulceration, hyperpigmentation, redness of the skin and mucous membranes;
- emotional instability;
- loss of attention and memory;
- disorders of the heart;
The disease is not always the same. Therefore, when referring to the survey, the patient's retirement age, yellowness of the skin and whites of the eyes without a fever and gallstone disease in history are taken into account.
The diagnosis requires confirmation
You can make sure that the first symptoms pointed to pancreatic cancer, you can after conducting research with the help of special medical equipment. It:
- Ultrasound and computed tomography.
- Radiography with the introduction of a contrast agent in the blood vessels and digestive organs:
- endoscopic and retrograde pancreatography;
- relaxation duodenography.
Sometimes it is difficult for the doctor to distinguish between oncology and a specific form of pancreatitis. In this case, you need to make a puncture and take a particle of a neoplasm for analysis. If duodenum develops, an aortography can be performed to see how much and how the vascular pattern of the pancreas is disturbed. To confirm that jaundice is a consequence of cancer, laboratory tests of biological materials should be carried out and the absence should be detected:
- urobilin in urine;
- sterkobilina in feces.
The essence of skilled care
With such an oncological pathology, the main method of treatment is surgery. The doctor’s actions can be directed at complete removal of the tumor (at the first stage) or at unblocking the bile ducts and the duodenum (if metastases are present), which stops jaundice and relieves pain. Also, the development of the disease slows down therapeutic radiation and chemotherapy.
You need to be prepared to fight the scourge of modern times, like cancer. When tumors affect the pancreas, the state of health deteriorates slightly. A person familiar with the symptoms of this dangerous disease may immediately suspect that something is wrong and prevent the progression of cancer. Even if the early stage of tumor development has passed, oncologists will still help to win a few precious months and sometimes years of life from the severe ailments.