Pancreatic cancer is classified into three stages namely stage I, stage II and stage III. Pancreatic cancer is highly lethal with approximately one-third of all cases dying from it. However, if the disease is detected at an early stage and cured at an early stage there is a slim chance of survival.
Stage I is characterized by the least symptoms or signs. It may not have any spread to other parts of the body. However, one-third of people with stage I have distributed internal bleeding. This is caused due to inflammation in the pancreas or liver. Some people may experience nausea, jaundice, abdominal pain and vomiting. One-third of people with stage I have been cured with surgery.
In stage two, if the tumor has not spread to the lymph nodes or to the tissues, a large tumor of unknown type may be present. As in stage one, if it spreads to other parts of the body, more internal bleeding will be experienced. In addition to this, there is a high possibility that the cancer will extend up to the liver.
Stage III is characterized by more spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes, liver and other parts of the body. In this stage, pancreatic cancer can lead to death of the person affected. There is a high probability that the cancer will extend to the liver and other organs. If left untreated, it can affect the cardio-vascular system as well.
At stage IV, the cancer has spread to the bones and the brain. The symptoms become very severe, even life-threatening. If left untreated, it can cause death. In advanced stages, it can spread to other organs in the body.
The good news is that pancreatic cancer responds well to surgery. However, there are a number of risks, including complications. Depending on the stage, you may have to undergo several operations. This includes surgeries for an endoscopic resection of a tumor or a lymph node. In order to relieve pain, narcotic drugs are given. After a surgery, you will have to take strong medication in order to prevent the cancer from coming back.
Surgery is only done if the pancreas tumor cannot be removed. There are two types of surgery – one is general surgery and the other is an endoscopic resection. In the first one, the tumor will be removed through small incisions while in the latter, the entire tumor will be removed through one small cut. In general surgery, recovery lasts at least four weeks. The endoscopic resection is similar but it does not require as much time.
Cancer is a disease that kills thousands of people every year. However, if detected early enough, survival rates can increase. Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that has a strong prognosis. However, this is dependent on how aggressive the disease is. The earlier you catch it, the better your chances are of survival.
The symptoms of cancer can start to show even before the tumor is removed. They may include jaundice, fatigue, nausea, weight loss or weight gain, dark pigmentation in the face, vomiting and frequent urination. Blood cells in the blood may also be detected in the blood. In more advanced cases, the cancer can spread to the liver and to other body parts.
The doctor may also notice polyps or fibroids in the abdomen. These tumors can sometimes grow large enough to block the duct that leads to the stomach. This may lead to serious complications such as gallstones or liver cancer.
In more advanced cases, doctors may recommend surgery. A procedure called a pancreatectomy is one of the options. This procedure is also known as an endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the tumor through an incision in the abdomen. This will allow doctors to remove the tumor and the tissue around it.
As mentioned, pancreatic cancer is a serious disease that if left untreated, has a very high survival rate. However, it is still a cancer that has no cure. With early detection, patients may be able to beat the disease and live a long and healthy life. Physicians will often offer various treatments for pancreatic cancer. They may even ask you to take on an active lifestyle to help boost your health and prevent the disease from coming back.