Nov 16, 2017 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. Let’s unite together to 'Demand Better' in the fight against the world’s toughest cancer. On this day, more than 60 organizations from 27 different countries and 6 continents come together to raise awareness and inspire action. Such measures bring greater awareness, attention and better outcomes to this killer disease.
Pancreatic cancer is the result of uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the abdomen with two main functions of digestion and sugar regulation. The pancreas had 2 different cell types, namely exocrine and endocrine cells. Almost 95% of pancreatic cancers come under the exocrine tumors category. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pancreatic NETs or PNETs) account for less than 5 percent of all pancreatic tumors and their growth is comparatively slower.
The cause behind this deadly disease is unknown but risk factors that can increase the likelihood of the disease are obesity, smoking, age, diet, pancreatitis, diabetes, genetics and family history of other cancers. If pancreatic cancer is detected at an early stage, the treatment success rates are higher. So, the early you doubt any of the risk factors, the better it is for you.
Most of the pancreatic cancer diagnosis is prevalent in individuals aged above 75 years while it’s uncommon in people under 40 years of age. Also, in about 1 in 10 cases, pancreatic cancer is inherited from a person’s parent. Certain genes increase the risk of pancreatitis, which in turn elevate the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Unexpected weight loss, jaundice, intense pain in stomach area, nausea and vomiting, bloating, indigestion and blood clots are common symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
Almost 30-50% of patients who are eligible for surgery are proposed to be ineligible for it. It is better to get the opinion of a surgeon who performs numerous pancreatic surgeries (at least 15 per year) to decide your eligibility. Drugs, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy are alternative treatment options.
Diet & Nutrition
Good nutrition can improve outcomes and elevate your quality of life. It is better to get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist to learn about the benefits of pancreatic enzymes and get a healthy diet plan chalked out for the individual post-surgery or other treatments. Go to the link www.firsteatright.com to get in touch with reputed dietitians/nutritionists.
Pancreatic enzymes help in digestion by breakdown of fats, proteins and carbs. People with pancreatic cancer secrete insufficient enzymes and these pancreatic enzyme products help to improve digestion and absorption of food.
Individuals who have been treated with surgery are initially fed with a liquid diet orally before proceeding to solid foods. They should eat small meals frequently avoiding greasy and fried foods. Raw fruits and veggies should be consumed in limited amounts frequently before increasing the quantity. At least 6-12 cups of fluids must be consumed each day to stay away from fatigue, nausea and light-headedness.
Some long-term health tips for post-surgery include:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.