Misconceptions And Facts About Pancreatic Cancer

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Misconceptions And Facts About Pancreatic Cancer
Misconceptions And Facts About Pancreatic Cancer
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Misconceptions and facts about pancreatic cancer

According to the WHO, raising awareness about cancer, its causes, and how to prevent and treat it, is a powerful preventive factor and a key element of the cancer control strategy. However, today there are many misconceptions and myths around every disease.

Misconceptions and facts about pancreatic cancer
Misconceptions and facts about pancreatic cancer

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Forewarned is forearmed. This rule is especially important when it comes to health. According to WHO, raising awareness about cancer, its causes and how to prevent and treat it is a powerful preventive factor and a key element of the cancer control strategy. However, today there are many misconceptions and myths around every disease. About the misconceptions surrounding one of the most aggressive oncological diseases - pancreatic cancer - says a researcher at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Chemotherapy of the N.N. N.N. Blokhin”Ilya Pokataev.

Pancreatic cancer (PCa) is a very rare disease and therefore should not be feared

Indeed, cancer of this localization is not very common. However, the incidence of prostate cancer is increasing annually, and today about 18 thousand new cases are detected among Russians a year. At the same time, the statistics are very disappointing: PCa is one of the first in mortality among cancer in Russia. Anyone can be at risk of prostate cancer, and this risk increases with age - most often the disease is diagnosed in patients over 60-70 years old. The more people live to this age, the higher the risk and the more we register cases of its occurrence.

In addition, prostate cancer is more commonly diagnosed in men. Age-standardized incidence rates of pancreatic cancer were 9.14 for men and 5.16 for women per 100 thousand of the population. At the same time, the increase in incidence rates in the last 10 years is higher in women: among men, this indicator was 9.39%, among women - 14.95%.

The risk of developing prostate cancer is impossible to predict

The exact causes of prostate cancer, like many other cancers, are not known, but doctors note some risk factors. The main one is hereditary predisposition. In 10% of patients with pancreatic cancer, the development of the disease is associated with the presence of known hereditary syndromes. The most common are Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Lynch syndrome, and inherited breast and ovarian cancer syndrome associated with BRCA gene mutations. And also the syndrome of familial pancreatic cancer, when the gene that causes the development of this type of cancer has not been identified, but it is known that at least two close relatives, for example, a father or brother, have had prostate cancer.

Patients who fall into the risk group should be monitored starting from 40-50 years old and regularly diagnosed using CT, MRI and endoscopic ultrasound. This will help increase the likelihood of early detection of the disease. It is this type of screening that is offered in developed countries, but, unfortunately, has not yet been worked out in Russia.

Other risk factors are secondary and include diabetes mellitus, poor diet, smoking, chronic pancreatitis, obesity, and low physical activity. But their importance is much less than in hereditary syndromes that contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer. Separately, one can single out a factor concerning our country - a lack of vitamin D, that is, insufficient solar insolation of Russians. According to some reports, people who are exposed to less sun exposure have an 8 times higher risk of pancreatic cancer than people who live in southern countries.

The symptoms of prostate cancer are easy to recognize

Unfortunately no. Diagnosing prostate cancer in a timely manner is quite difficult: the disease can be asymptomatic up to stage IV, when metastases appear. In the early stages, the disease is most often detected by chance, for example, when a nodule in the pancreas is accidentally found on an MRI or CT scan. In other cases, patients go to the doctor with jaundice, if the tumor has spread to the bile ducts. At such a moment, they talk about a common oncological process. Therefore, it is so important to pay attention to some things besides the arising pain syndrome: this is a digestive disorder, an increase in blood sugar, and also an unrelated decrease in body weight. These symptoms may indicate damage to the pancreas.

The main test for confirming the diagnosis of prostate cancer is a biopsy. Without confirming the diagnosis, treatment is not prescribed. With an undeniable tumor process according to CT or MRI data, provided there are no metastases and the possibility of performing a radical operation, treatment in the form of tumor removal begins without a biopsy. Further treatment is possible after histology of the material removed during surgery.

In terms of examining patients with suspected pancreatic tumor, chest x-ray, ultrasound, CT or MRI of the abdominal organs, gastroduodenoscopy, and a series of blood tests are present.

The main cause of prostate cancer is malnutrition

Bad habits, in particular alcohol abuse, as well as inaccuracies in the diet, when fatty and spicy foods prevail in the diet, do not contribute to the health of the pancreas. But, nevertheless, their importance is much less than in hereditary syndromes that contribute to the development of cancer in this localization.

But in order to prevent relapse after the end of treatment, it is important to restore the work of the gastrointestinal tract: patients must eat adequately, recover from surgery and return to their normal weight. As maintenance therapy, patients can take pancreatic enzymes and drugs that would stimulate gastrointestinal motility. But some alternative methods, the so-called curative fasting or vegetarianism, are most often harmful. If a patient develops a relapse of the disease, which happens often, then their nutritional status, or nutritional status, plays a key role in treatment planning. In a patient with severe nutritional deficiencies, adequate treatment is often impossible. That is why we do not recommend adhering to strict diets, but on the contrary, to optimize your diet,gradually adding new dishes to it.

There is no point in treating metastatic PCa

Of course, the prognosis of the disease depends on the stage at which the diagnosis was made. If it is possible to perform early surgical intervention and implement the full volume of postoperative chemotherapy, then, according to European data, the five-year survival rate reaches 30%. These indicators have improved over the past few years. In Russia, the survival rate is lower, but we are seeing a tendency to increase it. Unfortunately, if the disease is detected at a late stage, and it can no longer be cured, then it takes months.

The choice of therapy for prostate cancer depends on the stage of the disease. The main treatment for locally advanced and metastatic PCa is chemotherapy. If the process is in the first and second stages, then treatment, as a rule, begins with a radical operation, which should be supplemented with preventive postoperative chemotherapy. If we are talking about a more common process, when the tumor involves large vessels passing in this area, then the treatment begins with the so-called induction stage, which includes chemotherapy and sometimes radiation therapy to reduce the size of the tumor and make the operation possible. At the fourth stage, when distant metastases in the liver and lungs are detected, only chemotherapy is performed.

In addition, the methods of systemic therapy are gradually being improved, which help to increase the life expectancy of patients.

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