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Audrey J Gunawan
Pancreatic cancer is a very lethal form of cancer that takes place in the pancreas of a human body. Cancer tissues and tumors are first formed inside the pancreas.When formed, these tissues then surround the tumors, which then leads to cancer. According to an article in Healthy Facty, the pancreas is a very vital organ located just behind the stomach which has a function of creating digestive enzymes that is able to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. These enzymes are able to aid nutrient absorption in the small intestine and is also able to produce hormones such as insulin, which has the ability to regulate blood sugar controls. Without it, there is a very high chance of death because of the vital role the pancreas plays in the digestive system. Like many cancers, the symptoms of Pancreatic cancer are not very noticeable; such as the symptoms of “stomach/abdomen pain, exhaustion, indigestion, nausea, yellowish skin, dark urine and a loss of appetite” (uhealthsystem.com). These symptoms can be mistaken as non-lethal sicknesses such as the flu. Although rare, pancreatic cancer also leads to diabetes because when the pancreas has cancerous tissues, it ceases to do its function in the human body. This means that it will stop producing insulin, which has the function of regulating the blood sugar. According to WebMD, in many cases, there are many risk factors that can cause pancreatic cancer. “smoking, inflammation in the pancreas, genetics and long term diabetes”. These factors cause harm to the pancreas and increase the risk of cancer tissues being formed.
Pancreatic cancer deserves more awareness because this disease is very lethal and currently has no form of medication. This is a contemporary health issue and is a form of cancer, which is one of the main causes of many deaths in the society. Today, the pancreas is a very vital organ located just behind the stomach which has a function of creating digestive enzymes that is able to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. “These enzymes are able to aid nutrient absorption in the small intestine and is also able to produce hormones such as insulin, which has the ability to regulate blood sugar controls” (Cancercenter.com). As the population increases and more people carry out the risks of getting diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there is a possibility that this cancer will be a major issue in the future. Lately, the rise of deaths as a result of pancreatic cancer has increased at a shocking rate and had effected many people in the United States. When a person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there is almost no chance of surviving within a year, even when they undergo treatment and chemotherapy. “This is because in pancreatic cancer, thick cancer tissue surrounds the tumors (which becomes cancer) and becomes impenetrable. This renders medicine useless” (Wilson CNN).
As far as I can remember, early back when there was little to no knowledge of cancer, people had recognized these symptoms (yellow skin, nausea, etc.) and recognize that a person is sick. They would have not known that it was a type of cancer as cancer was not really known before and identified it as a sickness. Different types of cancer are usually discovered through a process of combining symptoms and similarities between them. When this is found, a study is carried out and a more specific definition of that will be made. Usually, the study is usually in a form of surgery as it is impossible for people to know what the sickness is without carrying out in person. Pancreatic cancer, to my knowledge, was not very known and noticed before. This is because there were more common and lethal types of diseases that were causing the deaths of many people around the world. Some examples are Heart disease, Leukemia, Lung cancer, etc. However, pancreatic cancer us on the rise and is going to affect a lot of people in the future. The information that a person diagnosed with this type cancer has almost no chance of surviving, is very sad and depressing news.
Pancreatic cancer today is not known as one of the most lethal cancers in the US. However, there is a possibility it can be one, once diagnosed, there is almost no possible way that individual will survive. Pancreatic cancer, as I said before, is very hard to cure because of its impenetrable tissues that surround tumors in the pancreas. According to Pennlive.com, the only way to cure it is to get a pancreas transplant or have it detected very early. However, there is a very low chance that individuals would be compatible with the donor in order to get that transplant. Moreover, it is very hard to detect because of very mild symptoms and the location of the pancreas. There are also currently no tests that can prove the detection of pancreatic cancer. If there is no viable treatment that can at least lessen the chance of getting pancreatic cancer, it will rise to be known as one of the most common types of cancer. Since there is a large amount of people who currently have diabetes or have a habit of smoking, the risk is sky-high. And when a large amount of people gets diagnosed with this cancer, they will start dying as there is no cure or treatment to this cancer. Very rarely will a person live beyond one year. For example, if a person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he/she will try to undergo medication and chemotherapy. These treatments however, are very expensive and usually cause nausea or sickness (chemotherapy). Through this medication process, the person also undergoes immense pain and difficulty. In the end, the individual is still leading himself/herself towards the inevitable; death. Most of the time, this treatment can only lengthen the time that the person will live after diagnosed. Almost the majority of people know that pancreatic cancer cannot be cured.
The problem with pancreatic cancer is that it is impossible to cure and also very lethal. So far, there are no effective forms of pancreatic cancer detection or cure. When there is no effective detection, the cancer will have already spread. By then it would be too difficult to cure or easily remove the tissues and tumors. Fortunately, science today has long improved prevention of cancer, which can lessen the fatalities that are caused by this global disease. However, they have not found the cure to any type of cancer cure. “It is proven that this year, 2017, more than forty thousand people will get diagnosed with cancer, most of them who will most probably survive as the chances are very low” (cancer.net). I think it is possible to find the cure to cancer if they work people dedicate themselves to finding it. I also think that maybe if the person takes enough vitamins, he/she will also have a higher chance to be cured of cancer. This can make the cells in a person’s body strong enough to be able to eliminate the cancer cells.
Pancreatic cancer is a very important topic for me because my grandfather was victim to this cancer. I remember the first time when he got diagnosed with cancer; it wasn’t a very pleasant day. After that, he went through many treatments such as chemotherapy and medication. The doctor who diagnosed him had said that he was only going to live for several months He suffered everyday and vomited due to the chemotherapy. For some reason, he had also developed diabetes prior to his cancer diagnosis. This meant that he had to always inject insulin into his body in order to regulate his blood sugar levels. He also had to take a lot of medication; this meant taking more than seven pills everyday every few hours. He had gone to the best doctors in the country and they found that his cancer was too far gone; it was already at stage 3. By then, it was incurable. However, he surpassed the doctor’s prediction on how many months he’ll live; they had initially predicted that he would live for less than 6 months. He lived for about a year before he peacefully passed away in his sleep. This is why I find that pancreatic cancer should be recognized as a very lethal cancer and that they should not be treated like a mild cancer. I also want as little people as possible to be diagnosed with any type of cancer; it is a plague that has ripped many people away from the ones they love. It is also full of suffering and not knowing what the outcome will be. If it is still early, then it is fortunate. However, if it has already spread to other parts of the body, then it will mostly be useless treatments and acceptance of death.
“Pancreatic Cancer: Statistics.” Cancer, Dec. 2015, http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/pancreatic-cancer/statistics. Accessed 26 February 2017.
“Pancreatic Cancer.” WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/digestive-diseases-pancreatic-cancer#1-3. Accessed 26 February 2017.
“Pancreatic cancer information” CancerCenter, http://www.cancercenter.com/pancreatic-cancer/learning/?source=BNGPS01&channel=paid+search&invsrc=Non_Branded_Paid_Search_Bing_Cancer_Search&utm_device=c&utm_budget=Corporate&utm_site=BING&utm_campaign=Non+Brand%3ECancer+Type%3A+Pancreatic&utm_adgroup=Learning%3EGeneral%3EExact&utm_term=pancreatic+cancer&utm_matchtype=e&k_clickid=96b7ebaf-5515-4b18-811e-c43f75fa4ae3&k_profid=422&k_kwid=96002.Â Accessed 26 February 2017.
“Pancreatic Cancer” UHealth, http://uhealthsystem.com/health-library/liver/panhub/pancan. Accessed 26 February 2017.
“Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect and treat” Pennlive, 2 Nov. 2010, http://www.pennlive.com/bodyandmind/index.ssf/2010/11/pancreatic_cancer_is_difficult.html. Accessed 26 February 2017.
Prerna. “10 Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer” Facty Health, http://health.facty.com/conditions/cancer/10-symptoms-of-pancreatic-cancer/2/. Accessed 26 February 2017.
Wilson, Jacque. “Report: Pancreatic cancer second most deadly by 2030” CNN, 19 May. 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/19/health/pancreatic-liver-cancer-deaths/index.html. Accessed 26 February 2017.
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