The pancreas is an organ that is spongy and is about six to ten inches long that is located in the abdomen.
It produces two important hormones insulin and glucagon that play an important role of regulating blood sugar metabolism.
It also plays another important role of converting the food we eat into fuel for the body's cells.
It consists of exocrine tissues that produces enzymes for digestion and endocrine cells called the islets of langerhans that release hormones that regulate blood sugar and regulate pancreatic secretions.
Pancreatic cancer is a cancer that is found anywhere in the pancreas and is as a result of malignant cells forming in the tissues of the pancreas.
The most common types of pancreatic cancer include;
*Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas-an exocrine tumour arising from the cells that line the pancreatic duct.
*Squamous cell carcinoma of the pancreas-it is a rare sub type of pancreatic cancer of ductal origin.
*Adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas-a type of cancer that contains two types of cells that is squamous cells and gland like cells.
*Colloid carcinoma of the pancreas-a tumour that arises from the Pancreatic ducts.
Pancreatic cancer occurs in various stages or phases like;
Stage 1-the tumour exists in the pancreas only.
Stage 2-tumours have spread to nearby abdominal tissues or lymph nodes.
Stage 3-it has spread to major blood vessels and lymph nodes.
Stage 4-the cancer has metastised that is it has spread to the liver and other body organs.
Cancer of the pancreas can present symptoms such as a high temperature or feeling shivery.
*Feeling tired or having no energy.
*Loss of appetite.
*Loss of weight without trying to.
*Yellowing of the whites of the eyes and the skin.
*Dark and pale stool than usual.
*Feeling of being sick.
*Pain at the top part of your stomach and back. *Indigestion and bloating.
As pancreatic cancer progresses it may result in complications such as bowel obstruction, jaundice, liver failure,weight loss.
This type of cancer can be prevented by avoiding red meat and sugary foods,stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, choosing a healthy diet.Photos courtesy of Google.
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