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7. Diet, Nutrition & Cancer
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23. Oral Cancer (Carcinoma of the Cheek, Lips & Tongue)
24. Carcinoma of the Salivary Gland
25. Carcinoma of the Paranasal Sinus
26. Carcinoma of Pharynx (Oropharynx, Nasopharynx and Hypopharynx)
27. Carcinoma of the Larynx
28. Brain & Spinal Cord Tumours
29. Primary Tumours of the Brain
30. Metastases in the Brain
31. Carcinoma of the Oesophagus
32. Thyroid Cancer
33. Bronchogenic Carcinoma (Lung Cancer)
34. Secondary Cancers of the Lung
35. Carcinoma of the Stomach
36. Liver Cancer
37. Gallbladder & Biliary Tract Cancer
38. Pancreatic Cancer
39. Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma and Nephroblastoma)
40. Urinary Tract (Transitional Cell Carcinoma) & Bladder Cancer
41. Carcinoma of Colon & Rectum
42. Primary Tumours of the Testis
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44. Carcinoma of Uterus
45. Cervix Cancer
46. Paediatric Cancers
47. AIDS Related Cancers
48. Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site (CUPS)
49. Role of Nutrition in Cancer Treatment
50. Chinese Medicine in Cancer Treatment
Pancreatic Cancer

Carcinoma of the pancreas is more common in males as compared to females. It usually affects above 60 years of age. In about 75 per cent cases, the tumour originates in head of the pancreas while in the remaining 25 per cent cases it originates in body or tail of the pancreas.

The pancreatic carcinomas are of two types, i.e. exocrine carcinomas and endocrine carcinomas. About 95 per cent pancreatic carcinomas are of exocrine type. The most common exocrine pancreatic carcinoma is ductal adenocarcinoma that arises from duct cells of the pancreas. Other exocrine pancreatic carcinomas include giant cell carcinoma and acinar cell carcinoma. Endocrine pancreatic carcinomas, also known as islet cell carcinomas, are slow growing tumours.

Risk factors of pancreatic carcinoma include:

  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • High fat diet
  • Exposure to heavy metals
  • Chemical carcinogens
  • Hereditary factor

Pancreatic carcinoma usually presents with pain in the epigastrium that radiates to back and intensifies after eating or lying supine, especially at night. Other symptoms include diarrhoea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, fever, anaemia, glycosuria, hyperglycaemia and thrombophlebitis. Jaundice may occur in advanced stages of the disease.

Staging of the pancreatic carcinoma is done as follows:

  • In stage I, the tumour is localised or has just started invading the adjacent tissues.
  • In stage II, the tumour invades the adjacent organs such as the intestines, stomach and the spleen.
  • In stage III, the tumour spreads to the regional lymph nodes.
  • In stage IV, the pancreatic carcinoma metastasises to distant organs of the body.

Procedures used in diagnosis and evaluation of the pancreatic carcinoma include blood tests, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC), endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) and biopsy.


This content is for information and educational purposes only and should not be perceived as medical advice. Please consult a certified medical or healthcare professional before making any decision regarding your health using the content above.

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