A silent but deadly disease, pancreatic cancer ranks 6th among the types of cancer that kill Singaporeans.
In fact, experts say that 95% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die of the disease.
What is pancreatic cancer? Why does it kill many people? What factors increase a person’s risk of developing the disease? How can you protect yourself from this dreadful disease? These are some of the questions you can ask your oncologist about this “killer”.
As your oncologist would explain, pancreatic cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the pancreatic tissues.
The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of the stomach. The pancreas has two types of cells; the exocrine pancreas cells which are responsible for the production of digestive juices, and the endocrine pancreas cells which make insulin and glucagon – hormones that help regulate your body’s blood sugar level.
Thus, two types of pancreatic cancer can form: the exocrine tumours and the endocrine tumours.
Little is known about the reason why cancerous cells form in the pancreas. Your oncologist would explain, however, that the risk for developing pancreatic cancer is high in these groups:
Discuss with your oncologist about the need for further diagnosis if you suspect to have the following signs of pancreatic cancer:
Reducing your risk factors is one of the best ways you can protect yourself from pancreatic cancer.
It also helps to see your oncologist for early diagnosis.
Once a pancreatic tumour is detected, your oncologist will recommend surgical removal to potentially cure early stage pancreatic cancer. Further treatment involving chemotherapy or radiotherapy after surgery may also be recommended.
In general, surgery is not recommended for advance stage pancreatic cancer. Treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy or both will often reduce the growth of cancer and prolong life.
Learn more about pancreatic cancer and how you can save yourself from this silent killer. Visit your trusted oncologist in Singapore at The Harley Street Heart and Cancer Centre today.