Until now there are dozens or even hundreds of types of cancer. Can be said, almost most of our body tissues can be affected by cancer. But there are several types of cancer that until now difficult conquered, compared to other cancers. One of them is pancreatic cancer.
In the United States pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Only 20 percent of patients survive longer than 1 year, and those who survive for up to 5 years are even smaller, only 7 percent. Compare with breast cancer patients where nearly 90 percent of patients with breast cancer can survive for up to 5 years with treatment.
The pancreas is one of so many important organs in the abdominal cavity. There are many diseases found in the pancreas, ranging from inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) acute and chronic to pancreatic cancer. To detect the disease in the pancreas is not easy because it is located far behind and below the abdominal cavity.
Pancreatic cancer begins in the pancreatic tissues. The pancreas secretes enzymes for digestion and hormones that help regulate sugar metabolism, one of which is insulin. The course of pancreatic cancer is very bad, so it is generally detected in an advanced stage. But even when diagnosed early, it still quickly worsens and has a fatal impact. Signs and symptoms generally do not appear until the cancer has spread and no longer possible surgery.
Although no known cause, but suspected to have certain risk factors that make a person’s chances of developing pancreatic cancer increases. Among the excess body weight, inflammation or chronic inflammation in the pancreas, diabetics, and there is a family history of cancer, mainly triggered by the BRCA2 gene mutation. Bad habits such as smoking can also increase the risk of cancer.
There are several theories that can explain why pancreatic cancer is difficult to cure. The pancreas is an organ that is very close to the stomach and the fluid produced by the pancreas will be supplied to the small intestine, while insulin is passed throughout the body. The cancer that develops in the pancreas makes a sort of bulwark around the tumor. In fact, when the pancreas tumor is removed by surgery, it turns out after being investigated in the laboratory, only a small part of which is the cancer cells, the rest is scarring and other cells called micro tumors.
This scarring is what prevents cancer drugs reaching cancer cells in the pancreas, and also creates a harsh living environment for cancer. In fact, when a cancer cell grows and develops in the pancreas, it “grows” in a very difficult environment. Therefore, cancer is tough, resistant to standard treatment, does not work with immune system attacks and also the most advanced cancer drugs though.
Experts have done various studies on the best treatment of pancreatic cancer. Because of the unique nature of cancer cells, it must be opposed in a unique way as well. One of them by looking at the pancreas as an organ that regulates blood sugar. 30% of patients with pancreatic cancer have uncontrolled high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar will certainly further fertilize tumor cells because he will get a supply of blood rich in nutrients. So controlling blood sugar in patients with pancreatic cancer including an important approach.
Not long ago a study also gave insight into how pancreatic cancer develops and spreads, thus offering hope for better diagnosis and treatment. According to research, pancreatic cancer is developing very quickly and not through a gradual process and sequential. This is why cancer becomes difficult to detect early. In the future it is hoped that a better strategy can be found to diagnose and treat this terrible disease.