Pancreatic Cancer Signs, Symptoms, Stages, Prognosis, Life expectancy and Survival rate

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor which originates from the exocrine segment of the pancreas, as well as ductal cells, while endocrine tumors such as gastrinoma and many others originate from Langerhans’ cells. These are considered to be a separate entity entirely. Adenocarcinomas of the exocrine part of pancreas originate from the ductal cells about 9 times more often than from other cells. About 80% of adenocarcinomas of pancreas begin in the head of this organ. Adenocarcinomas on average appear about with people who are about 55 years old and it’s twice as common with men. It begins as a consequence of uncontrolled growth and multiplication of biologically altered cells of the pancreas. Due to the expanded life expectancy, frequency of pancreatic cancer has also increased. Incidence of pancreatic cancer rolls about 8-10 affected in a group of 100 000 people.

Cigarette smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for pancreatic cancer and about 5-10% of these cancers is hereditary. Pancreatic cancer usually has grim prognosis, even when it’s somehow early diagnosed. It is known that pancreatic cancer tends to spread quickly, being discovered in an advanced stage of the illness, when surgical procedure isn’t possible. Because of all this, a 5 year survival is possible for less than 2% of patients.

According to medical researchers, discovering gene mutations and molecular shifts in the ductal pancreatic cells could be used for an early discovery of pancreatic cancer. Equally to that, it has shown that genetic markers for pancreatic cancer can be found in the routine checkup of the stool, which directs into a possibility of an early discovery of pancreatic cancer.

Chemotherapy after surgery expands pancreatic patient’s life span

A research coming from Germany has shown that application of chemotherapy after surgical removal of pancreatic cancer increases survival chances of patients who are dealing with pancreatic cancer. This therapy should be applied in a period of 6 months after surgery. With such application, survival rate can be improved for about 10%.

It’s also necessary to mention that another research from April of 2013 in Journal of Clinical Oncology magazine has shown that application of chemotherapy combined with an experimental medicine increases the survival rate more than any other single therapy. Unfortunately, despite these advancements in discoveries, the overall prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients is still very grim. Out of all the solid tumors, pancreatic cancer still has the grimmest prognosis of them all. Currently, the best way to reduce fatality rate of pancreatic cancer is its early diagnosis.

Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer symptoms are appearing very late so in the moment of diagnosis about 90% of patients has a localized and advanced tumor which has affected the structures of the organ and has therefore spread into the regional lymph nodes or it has already metastases in liver or lungs. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer mostly depend on localization and stage of the tumor itself. The most common symptom of pancreatic cancer is pain which appears in more than 50% of patients, loss of appetite and weight loss.

The pain is usually localized in the upper part of the abdomen; it’s of very numb character and commonly spreading into the back. It can be released by bending forward or taking the fetal position. Rarer symptoms are symptoms of cholangitis, acute pancreatitis as well as bleeding from the upper portion of the digestive system. In advanced stages, a typical mass around the pancreas can be noticed, as well as painful and swollen gallbladder.

Diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

Computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) of the pancreas are most common diagnosis tools which are being performed all around. In case where CT and MRCP show a metastases issue, percale aspiration of the lesion needs to be taken into consideration to analyze the tissue; if the CT shows a potential tumor or in cases where it doesn’t indicate clearly, MRCP can be used to determine the stage of the tumor more precisely.

With patients who are suffering from obstructive cancer types, endoscopic tomography can be done as the first diagnostic test. Routine laboratory tests are also common, measuring bilirubin and many other indicative factors.

Treatment of pancreatic cancer

As it is the case with many other cancers, early discovery is the key to a successful treatment. Rate of survival is highest with patient who is having very small tumors, less than 3 centimeters. About 80-90% of pancreatic cancer isn’t removable surgically, due to its metastases which have spread into main blood vessels. Depending on the localization of the tumor, Whipple’s operation process tends to be the most common choice.

Post-operative chemotherapy with our without radiation is frequently applied after surgery in order to remove any leftover cancer cells; when treating cancer with chemotherapy, specific biological medications are also applied. It’s necessary to notice that experimental vaccination against pancreatic cancer is still in development, being researched in clinical tests. Vaccination against pancreatic cancer activates the immunological system, whose cells are attacking cancer cells inside the pancreas as well as the entire body.

A supporting pancreatic cancer treatment will reduce cancer symptoms with patients who aren’t able to have their cancer removed surgically, with the main goal of improving general condition and everyday lifestyle of the patient.

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat as it is difficult to diagnose

Recently, Steve Jobs has withdrawn from CEO position at Apple Inc., with reason of pancreatic cancer. It’s known that he was treated for this disease, which is the fourth most common cause of death in the United States. Oncologists say that pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat as it’s very complicated to diagnose it early. It can grow up to 15 centimeters in length and since it’s located deeply inside the stomach cavity, behind stomach and below the liver, symptoms become obvious once the disease has reached fatal stage.

Some types of pancreatic cancer are commonly appearing inside the same family line, with smoking and alcohol consummation being closely related to this condition, but exact cause is yet unknown.


Reasons for pain under breasts

Women are commonly reporting themselves to a doctor due to pain experienced in the breast area. Usually, this type of pain is not necessarily linked to a cancer, but women, who are experiencing any types of breast related abnormalities, including pain, should visit their doctor as soon as possible. About 70% of women have felt pain in their breasts in one point in their lives. Pain can appear in one or both breasts or below the armpit as well. The intensity of the pain experienced here varies, and about 15% of women require immediate treatment.

There are two main types of pain under right and left breast – cyclical and non-cyclical.

Cyclical pain under breast

Pain in the breasts can be related with the ways which are taken by the breast tissue and its reaction to monthly changes of the estrogen levels. If the pain is accompanied by lumps or areas where there is an obvious accumulation of tissue, this leads towards fibrocystic disorders. During a menstrual cycle, breast tissue sometimes swells up due to the hormonal stimulation which causes an expansion of the milk glands and channels. Besides this, breasts tend to retain water. They can feel swollen, painful and sensitive, with all of these symptoms ending by the end of the menstrual cycle.

On this particular type of pain which can be isolated right below the breast as well, about 75% of all complaints fall to. Even stress can have an influence on the hormonal levels, which increases the pain sensation. Physical activity, especially hard work also increases the chance for one to experience breast pain as the breast muscles may become inflamed due to physical activity.

Non-cyclical pain under breast

This type of pain is much rarer than cyclical and it has no relation to the menstrual cycle whatsoever. Women who are experiencing non-cyclical pain in their breasts commonly experience pain in one specific area. Causes can be injuries and trauma on the breast area as well as biopsy.

Breast cancer – how to recognize it

It’s not surprising that a large percentage of women think of breast cancer immediately when they experience pain under right and left breast. This cancer has taken its toll on the public as it is one of the most dangerous cancers out there, though it is treatable in most cases. As it is with all other types of cancers, the breast cancer is basically an accumulation of cells found in the breast gland tissue which have gone out of control and started to multiply with no rhyme or reason. This expansion causes destruction of the surrounding healthy tissue and since there are many lymph nodes and blood vessels in this area, cancer can easily enter the cardiovascular system and spread metastases across the entire body.

Because of this, breast cancer which has been recognized too late can have an effect on the entire body which further complicates things related to its removal. Breast cancer is a malicious condition which can happen to women of all ages. Causes aren’t known yet. Statistics say that hereditary factor and lifestyle represent crucial factors for its appearance. There is a great chance of breast cancer appearing in women who have relatives who have suffered from it, especially along mother’s gene tree.

With those couple of risk factors, it is important to know basic ways of helping yourself. Fortunately, your breasts and the area below them are easy to keep under control. With observing and probing of the area it is possible to discover some disorders which are related to the breast tissue itself – keep in mind that about 30% of such discoveries end up in breast cancer so it might just be a simple hormonal disorder.

Self-checkups should become some type of a habit for you and you should do it 5-10 days after your menstrual cycle has ended, always following the same routine of probing your breasts. Over time you will acquire an idea about the normal phase of your breasts, the firmness, radius and other physical properties which are used as a guideline. All women who are over 20 years of age should do this self-checkup at least once per month.

Keep in mind that breast cancer tends to grow without radiating any pain out of it. This is the main reason why most women report to their doctor too late, and it’s necessary to hold on to the rule that the doubt alone is good enough of a reason to go and get yourself checked up. Today’s medicine can easily establish a safe diagnosis of the condition, which is very important since breast cancer needs to be treated as soon as possible. This increases the chances of complete recovery a lot, as any postponing will complicate things a lot further down the line.

Other causes for pain under the breasts

Light pain, oversensitivity and pressure felt under the breast are all common disturbances shortly before and after menstruation. These initiate due to intensive hormonal excretion, which causes improved fluid accumulation in the breast, which then slowly swell up. After the menstruation has ended, these disturbances tend to stop.

During pregnancy, these disturbances are far more intensive. Pressure and pain in the breast report in within a couple of first weeks of your pregnancy. Stronger hormone excretion can cause creation of small crevices inside the breasts, which are basically like cysts and can be felt outside like tiny knots. These are commonly compared to shotgun shells. Breast inflammation can also cause severe pain, with these settling in for women who are nursing mostly. Along with the pain, a swelling will appear, the breast becomes red, warm and painful, with body temperature steadily increasing. It is necessary to continue with nursing and raise the swollen breast up, applying cold bandages to it at all times. If the treatment was initiated in a proper time, the advancement of this condition in particular may be stopped by using antibiotics. If there is a large accumulation of the pus, a surgical procedure will be required.


Throat Cancer Signs, Causes, Symptoms, Prognosis and Survival rate

Throat cancer is a condition referred to any malicious cancers which are being developed inside the throat. Your throat is basically a muscular tube which starts behind the nose, ending in the neck. Speech organs which are positioned in beneath the throat are also sensitive towards cancerous diseases, including vocal cords which are used to create voice. Throat cancer can also affect the cartilage which acts as the lid for the trachea (windpipe). Obviously, this is a malicious disease which grows slowly without showing any typical symptoms right off the bat. Symptoms which will occur in a close period afterwards highly depend on the localization and intensity of the cancer.

Throat cancer is extremely common with men, being very rare with women. Approximately, there are about 97% of men throat cancers with only 3% which are affecting women. Looking on an even larger scale, throat cancer makes up for about 2% of all malicious tumors known to man.

Process of throat cancer development

Typically, cancer is a fairly dangerous disease, although not all cancers are malicious. All of these tumors have some kind of an effect on the building block of our body – the cell. Cancer initiates once cells become abnormal and start multiplying without any order or control. Just like all other organs inside our body, throat is also composed of cells. Normally, these cells are shared so that more cells are produced when body requires them. This is a process which makes us healthy.

However, if these cells start to multiply when there is no need for them (like healing), a tumorous body will be created. This tumor is called cancer if it’s about a malicious and possibly fatal nature.

Throat cancer is also known as larynx cancer and can develop in every larynx segment. In case when the tumor is spreading outside the throat, it’s first to appear inside the lymph nodes in the neck; it can also spread into the rear part of the tongue and other parts of throat and neck, lungs and other parts of the body.

With all the current researches and findings being public, it has been proven that people, who smoke, eat irregularly and are exposed to all diseases and conditions due to a weakened immunological system are a risk group for throat cancer.

Common symptoms of throat cancer

Symptoms of throat cancer highly depend on size and localization of the tumor itself. Most of throat cancers are located on the vocal glands. These tumors are rarely painful, but they always cause lack of voice and other voice shifts. Tumors in the area above the voice glands may be a cause for lumps to appear on the neck, throat ache and pain in the ear region. Tumors positioned above the voice glands may cause issues with breathing which can be quite noisy as well.

Coughs which are difficult to cope with or a sensation of a foreign body inside the throat can also be signs which are used to detect throat cancer. As the tumor grows, pain may occur, extreme weight loss, bad breath as well as food choking. In some cases, throat cancer can cause severe issues with breathing and swallowing. All of these symptoms may be caused by throat cancer or some other, less serious causes. Only a doctor may establish the cause with high certainty.

Throat cancer treatment

Possibilities for treatment depend on a lot of factors, such as localization and stage of throat cancer, types of cells which are involved in the cancerous growth, your general health condition and personal desires. You can discuss all of the treatment methods with your doctor so that the most appropriate treatment may be found.

Possibilities of treatment include radiotherapy, which uses beams of high energy. These beams can destroy cancer cells. In an early stage of cancer, treatment may involve radiation exclusively, while in advanced stages, this method is used to reduce signs and symptoms. Surgical treatment of throat cancer is another valid option, but it is limited only to the surface of the throat or voice glands. In some cases, the entire throat might be removed in order to prevent any higher issues along with disease’s development.

Chemotherapy is possibly one of the most famous cancer treatment methods which is used on a variety of different cancers. This is basically a mixture of chemicals being ingested by the patient which are powerful enough to kill cancer cells. It usually comes paired with radiation.

Target therapy is used with drugs that are capable of using specific lacks in some cells or preventing the cells from multiplying further.

Rehabilitation after surgery

Surgery is the most common method of dealing with chronic cancers, and even though it’s a fairly simple and straightforward process, rehabilitation might be an issue. With people who have had their throat surgically removed, there is no option of accumulating voice in a natural way. However, today it is possible to enable speech even after complete removal of the throat in several ways. None of the methods being used today are universal and appropriate for all patients. Depending on the general condition of the patient, motivation for a specific method as well as capabilities of health institutions and education of doctors, the best possible individual method is chosen.

Speech prosthesis is a common method of speech rehabilitation. It is about a surgical process which is used to direct a flow of air through the speech prosthesis into the throat where voice is formed. This device can be installed at any point in time, and is considered to be a very quick method of rehabilitation.

There are several other methods which include a huge amount of effort from the patient, such as controlled breathing and accumulation of voice in a completely different way. Due to the difficulties many people face while trying these methods, they are slowly drifting away, being replaced by voice and speech prosthesis devices which are far more convenient and easier to work with.