Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers, one of the most non-responsive to treatment, and one of the hardest to diagnose; in one recent year, 84 % of those diagnosed in the U.S. died of the disease. It affects the pancreas, which is a crucial abdominal organ that produces insulin to maintain blood sugar, and it performs other functions crucial to digestion and metabolism.
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PancreatitisPancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. There are two kinds of pancreatitis, acute and chronic. The primary causes of pancreatitis are alcohol and gallstones. Symptoms of acute pancreatitis include nausea, fever, dehydration, and rapid heartbeat. Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include bleeding from anemia, jaundice and other liver problems, weight loss, and diabetes. Treatment of individuals with pancreatitis caused by alcohol abuse is stopping all alcohol use. Examples of other treatments may include gallbladder removal, antibiotics, or change in diet (high carbohydrate low-fat diet).
GallstonesGallstones are solid particles that form from bile in the gallbladder. There are two types of gallstones, cholesterol and pigment. Causes of gallstones vary, and risk factors include female gender, obesity, crash dieting, and some medications. There are a variety of treatments for gallstones depending on the severity of the condition.
ObesityMore than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, including at least one in five children. Nearly one-third are obese. Obesity is on the rise in our society because food is abundant and physical activity is optional. The safest way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. Treatment may also include medications, surgery, and behavior modification.
Cigarette SmokingCigarette smoking remains the leading cause of death and illness among Americans. Effects of smoking can cause cancers, emphysema, bronchitis, COPD, chronic cough, and more. Smoking cessation includes nicotine replacement therapy and behavioral therapy.
Pancreatic Cancer Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Erlotinib is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body...learn more »
Bevacizumab is used to treat a certain type of brain tumor, and certain types of cancers of the kidney, lung, colon, rectum, cervix, ovary, or fallopian tube...learn more »
Cetuximab is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body...learn more »
Capecitabine is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body...learn more »
Gemcitabine is used to treat cancers of the pancreas, lung, ovary, and breast...learn more »
Pancrelipase is a combination of three enzymes (proteins): lipase, protease, and amylase. These enzymes are normally produced by the pancreas and are importa...learn more »