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What Is Pancreatic Cancer and What Are The Treatment Methods?

Pancreatic cancer is a very common and difficult to treat type of cancer today. When this disease is not diagnosed early, it can carry life-threatening risks and significantly reduce the quality of life. Therefore, having information about pancreatic cancer and treatment methods is of great importance in early diagnosis and treatment processes. In this article we have written for you, we will try to give information about the function of the pancreas, what pancreatic cancer is and types of pancreatic cancer.

What Is Pancreas?

The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen and has both endocrine (hormonal) and exocrine (digestive) functions. The endocrine function of the pancreas regulates blood sugar levels by producing hormones such as insulin and glucagon. The exocrine function is to help the digestive system by producing pancreatic juice. This juice contains enzymes that help break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

What Is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor caused by uncontrolled growth and proliferation of pancreatic cells. Cancer cells can disrupt the function of the pancreas, affecting digestion and hormonal regulation. In addition, these cells can spread and metastasis to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Pancreatic cancer usually occurs in older people and risk factors include smoking, obesity, diabetes and genetic predisposition.

What Are The Types of Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is divided into different types according to the origin and structure of the cells. The two main types of pancreatic cancer are;

Ductal adenocarcinoma; This type, which accounts for approximately 90% of pancreatic cancers, originates from cells in the ducts of the pancreas. It usually occurs in the head of the pancreas and follows an insidious course. Diagnosis can be difficult because it does not give symptoms in the early period.

Neuroendocrine tumours (NET); This type of cancer, which originates from the hormonal cells of the pancreas, is less common and grows more slowly. Neuroendocrine tumours are divided into functional (hormone producing) and nonfunctional (non-hormone producing). Functional tumours are symptomatic due to hormone production, while nonfunctional tumours are usually asymptomatic.

Pancreatic cancer treatment methods vary according to the stage of the disease, the general health status of the patient and the type of cancer. Surgical intervention, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapies are among the methods used in pancreatic cancer treatment. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can significantly increase the duration and quality of life of patients.

Who Gets Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer, which accounts for a significant proportion of cancer deaths worldwide, can be seen in all age groups, while some risk factors mean that you may be at higher risk. Pancreatic cancer risk factors are as follows;

  • The risk of pancreatic cancer increases with age. It is usually more common after the age of 45 and individuals aged 65-75 are at highest risk.
  • Smoking can double the risk of pancreatic cancer. Those who quit smoking can reduce this risk over time.
  • People who are obese have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. You can reduce the risk by maintaining a healthy weight.
  • People with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • People who have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child) with pancreatic cancer have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Some genetic syndromes and mutations can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • People with chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

What Are The Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer may not show signs and symptoms in the early stages. In the later stages, the following symptoms may occur;

  • Constant pain in the upper abdomen or back,
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss,
  • Jaundice Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes,
  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Fatigue and weakness,
  • Liver enlargement,
  • Development of diabetes mellitus (diabetes),
  • Depression

What Are The Causes of Pancreatic Cancer?

The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is not yet known. However, it is thought that mutations in the DNA of cancer cells cause uncontrolled growth and proliferation of pancreatic cells. These cells come together to form a tumour and can spread to surrounding tissues and organs.

Factors that increase the risk of pancreatic cancer are;

  • Age,
  • Smoking,
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes,
  • Family history
  • Genetic factors,
  • Chronic pancreatitis,

To reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle, stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight and have regular health checks. If you are in a high-risk group, you can discuss early diagnosis and treatment options with your doctor.

How Is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed?

Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed by patient complaints, physical examination and medical imaging methods. The diagnosis process is as follows;

  • Physical examination and anamnesis,
  • Blood tests,
  • Imaging modalities,
  • Biopsy.

What Are The Stages of Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer stages are used to determine the degree of spread of the disease. The stages are as follows:

Stage 0; Cancer cells are found only in the pancreas and have not yet spread elsewhere.

Stage 1; Cancer cells continue to grow inside the pancreas, but have not spread to the lymph nodes or other organs. It is divided into two sub-stages as stage 1A and 1B.

Stage 2; Cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes, but have not yet spread to other organs. It is divided into two sub-stages as stage 2A and 2B.

Stage 3; Cancer cells have spread to the large vessels and nerves around the pancreas, but have not yet spread to other organs.

Stage 4; Cancer cells have spread to other organs, especially to distant areas such as the liver, lung and peritoneum. This stage is the most advanced and most serious stage.

How Is Pancreatic Cancer Treated?

The main methods used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer are as follows;

  • Surgical Intervention,
  • Radiation Therapy,
  • Chemotherapy,
  • Targeted Treatment,
  • Immunotherapy,

What Is The Process After Pancreatic Cancer Treatment?

The process after pancreatic cancer treatment varies depending on the patient’s treatment method, stage of cancer and general health status. The points to be considered in the post-treatment process are as follows;

After pancreatic cancer treatment, it is important that patients are regularly checked by their doctors. These controls help to detect cancer recurrence or progression early.

It is important for patients to follow a healthy and balanced diet after pancreatic cancer treatment. Due to the effect of the pancreas on the digestive system, it is recommended that patients limit their fat intake and consume fibre-rich foods.

After pancreatic cancer treatment, it is important for patients to exercise regularly and increase their physical activity levels in line with their doctor’s recommendations. Exercise helps to improve the quality of life of patients by increasing energy levels.

It is important for patients to receive social and psychological support after pancreatic cancer treatment. Family, friends and support groups can help patients cope with the difficulties they experience.

After pancreatic cancer treatment, patients should co-operate with their doctors to cope with pain and other symptoms. Pain medication, relaxation techniques and appropriate nutrition can be effective in managing pain and symptoms.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Prices in Turkey

Turkey has managed to announce its name to the world with its investments and studies in the field of health. Especially the latest technological devices used in diagnosis and treatment procedures have been a beacon of hope for many diseases. However, there has been an increase in health tourism in Türkiye.

  • Hospitals are large, clean, spacious and fully equipped in terms of technological equipment.
  • Turkish doctors are specialized, successful, and skilled in their fields.
  • Nurses and carers are friendly and compassionate.
  • Finding answers to the questions asked quickly and accurately.
  • Patience and understanding of all staff, including the intermediary company dealing with the patient.
  • Turkey offers holiday opportunities with its natural and historical beauties.
  • Easy transportation.
  • Diagnosis, treatment, accommodation, eating, drinking, dressing, and holiday needs can be met at affordable prices.

Such situations are shown among the reasons for preference. We can see that patients and relatives of patients who want to come to Turkey are doing research on Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Prices in Turkey. However, it would not be correct to give clear price information at this stage. Many factors such as the type of disease, stage, diagnosis process, treatment process, and stay in Türkiye affect the price issue. If you want to get more detailed price information, you can contact us. In addition, if you come to Turkey for treatment through us, we can facilitate your visa application process with the invitation letter sent by us to the consulate.

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