Pancreatic Cancer

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

The pancreas is a large gland in the digestive system which is positioned in the abdominal cavity just behind the stomach. With the function of producing several vital hormones, it is also a digestive organ. Pancreatic cancer arises when pancreatic cells begin to grow out of control with the formation of a mass, called tumor. These cancerous cells can also effect others parts of the body. There are many types of pancreatic cancer. People who don’t smoke and maintain a healthy lifestyle are at a lower risk of developing this cancer. With its increasing cases every year, the chances of survival is low when diagnosed at a later stage. There are many treatment options available that can advance the quality of life of people with pancreatic cancer.


The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • New-onset diabetes
  • Fatigue


Although it is not possible to tell the exact causes of pancreatic cancer, some of the assumed causes include:

  • Smoking
  • Genetic defects


The main risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Dark urine
  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas
  • Certain rare genetic conditions


  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Low red meat diet
  • Limit alcohol use

How is it diagnosed?

You may have to perform certain medical tests and procedures if your doctor reckons that you have pancreatic cancer.


How is it treated?

Various treatment options are available to reduce discomfort and cure people suffering from pancreatic cancer.


  • Surgery

    Two generic types of surgery can be used for this disease, Palliative surgery and Potentially curative surgery.

  • Chemotherapy

    Inoculated via mouth as pills or into a vein, anti-cancer drugs are being utilized by chemotherapy during the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

  • Ablation or Embolization treatments

    These treatments are distinct ways of destroying tumour cells, rather than eliminating them with surgeries.

  • Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is a medical procedure that applies high energy radiation and kills the cancerous cells in the pancreas.

When do I contact the doctor?

One should contact the doctor if any signs and symptoms of the disease are observed. 

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How does Medanta provide care?

The Gastroenterology Division at Medanta’s Institute of Digestive and Hepatobiliary Sciences aims at providing the best treatments to patients with the worst cases of diseases involving their digestive, liver and pancreato-biliary tracts. The in..

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