As an important organ that is located in our stomach, the pancreas is important. Needless to say, pancreas helps to digest all of the fats in our body by releasing some exocrine cells into your intestines. The endocrine cells in your pancreas produce glucagon and insulin that are made to control your blood sugar, which will lead you to many complications if you got pancreatic cancer. But how dangerous is this disease? Is pancreatic cancer curable? Today we will talk about pancreatic cancer and its survival rates.
The Types of Pancreatic Cancer
There are two mains pancreatic cancers, those cancers are exocrine and endocrine cancers. Both of these cancer form different types of a tumour. They have their own specific signs, symptoms and treatments.
- Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer
- As the most common type to happen, this exocrine tumor is classified into four types. The first one is Adenocarcinoma which is basically 90% of tumours of pancreatic cancer, the second one is Acinar Cell Carcinoma, a rare case of a tumour that might cause an excessive pancreatic lipase. The third one is Mucinous Cystadenocarcinoma, a tumour that only grows on the tail area of the pancreas, and the last one, Intraductal Papillary-Mucinous Neoplasm (IPMN), a cystic tumour that can grow out malignancy in your pancreas area.
- Pancreatic Endocrine Tumors
- Pancreatic Endocrine Tumors are the most uncommon pancreatic cancer to happen with the rates of 5% survival. This type of a tumour is also known as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (NETs).
The signs of pancreatic cancer are varied and really depend on the types of the tumours that you have. The signs are:
- Gastric: you might experience Gastrinomas or Gastric if you got pancreatic cancer. The tumors make the hormone produce more acid in your stomach and you will probably feel nauseous, has an appetite loss and feeling tired in a short time.
- Glucagonomas: The increasing of your blood sugar level which can lead you to diabetes.
- Insulinomas: The opposite of glucagonomas, insulinomas is decreasing the blood sugar level make you all tiring, weak and sweating rapidly.
- Somatostatinomas: tumours that made somatostatinomas usually have effects such as nausea, pain in the stomach, yellow skin, and easily hungry and thirsty.
- VIPomas: Vipomas or vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) usually cause diarrhoea
- Ppomas: Ppomas or pancreatic polypeptide effect is the enlargement of liver area, this tumour also makes you feel nausea as well.
According to American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), the stage of pancreatic cancer is explained with the acronym TNM systems which actually describe the information of cancer itself. T stands for a tumor or the main tumour’s size that probably has grown on your body. The second one, N or nodes describes the spread of the cancers that is nearby the lymph nodes, while the last one M, means metastasized spread of cancer and if its already spread to the other body parts or not.
Final thoughts and the survival rates
Many cancer patients have been diagnosed with 5 years survival rates, and that’s also the same with people who got pancreatic cancer. Although most of them can live much longer than that if they are passed the treatments, most of them have been given the 5-years estimated time of life. So is pancreatic cancer curable? The answer is depends on the stage you are in and the miracle. Pancreatic cancer itself is curable if you treat it earlier and try to change your lifestyle to be healthy. But if you are in the last stage of this cancer, it might risky, but there is nothing wrong to do some treatments. It might prolong your life, and dream.