Pancreatic cancer causes rapid death

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Pancreatic cancer ranks 6th in common gastrointestinal cancers and 5th in mortality, Dr. Do Tuan Anh, Head of Hepatobiliary Surgery Department, Friendship Hospital Viet Duc, said.

Located between stomach, liver and intestine, pancreas is only 10-15 cm long, pear-shaped, secreting hormones, producing insulin, digestive juices. The pancreas is identified as one of the extremely important parts of the body. Pancreatic cancer occurs when pancreatic cells mutate and multiply at a very fast rate.

Global Cancer Organization (GLOBOCAN) estimated 2018 Vietnam Nearly 1,000 people have had pancreatic cancer and nearly 900 have died from the disease. The disease is difficult to detect because the pancreas is behind the stomach. Clinical symptoms or subclinical tests such as ultrasound, CT, etc. are difficult to detect, only when tumors are detected.

Causes of cancer pancreas has not been clarified. Some risk factors include smoking, obesity, genetics, diabetes, diet, sedentary lifestyle.

Ung pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early. Photo: Bolsdky.

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early the pancreas is located behind the stomach, the symptoms are not obvious. Photo: Bolsdky.

According to Dr. Tuan Anh, at an early stage, pancreatic cancer does not have specific symptoms, vague clinical manifestations, the disease is often discovered by accident. Later, patients with pain often in the epigastric region, or right lower flank, accounting for 80-90% of all forms of pancreatic cancer, especially cancer in the trunk and tail of the pancreas. The patient also has pain in the lower abdomen for a long time before showing other symptoms.

Pancreatic cancer patients also have jaundice, which is a consequence of tumor invasion. Biliary tract, accompanied by itching. Jaundice occurs in 80-90% of patients with pancreatic head tumors, 6% of patients with trunk and tail tumors. Cholestatic jaundice progresses gradually, increasing day by day, the darker the gold.

The patient also has a fever. The temperature rises with chills as symptoms of biliary abscess occur in 10% of patients with pancreatic cancer. Other symptoms include weight loss, bloating, vomiting, bloating, anemia, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue.

Doctor Tuan Anh tu A consultation for patients about gastrointestinal disease. Photo: Nguyen Huong.

Doctor Tuan Anh advises patients gastrointestinal disease. Photo: Nguyen Huong.


Depending on the location and stage of the disease, there are corresponding treatments. For pancreatic area tumors, pancreatic hysterectomy is the only radical treatment that extends the life of patients. Other surgical methods such as excision, pancreatic bypass surgery, exploration, biopsy, chemotherapy, adjuvant chemotherapy.

Contraindications excision of pancreatic mass, temporary surgical methods including bypassing, opening of the jejunum, bile drainage ... only for symptomatic treatment and nutritional support for patients.

Interventional surgical treatment should be combined with palliative care, in order to improve the quality of life of the patient. In pancreatic cancer, palliative care includes pain treatment, psychological treatment, and management of other serious conditions.

Doctors recommend that everyone take a health check periodically to detect and treat diseases. In a family with someone with pancreatic cancer, you should screen for risk.

Le Nga