Pancreatic cancer and the latest information about it in 2023

Pancreas cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in the world Pancreatic cancer The attention of Turkish doctors, as his treatment requires expertise and advanced diagnostic and therapeutic tools provided by Turkish hospitals.

Pancreatic cancer is usually not diagnosed until advanced stages because it is difficult to detect, as symptoms include jaundice, weight loss, and abdominal pain, and these symptoms are not directed, and doctors may misdiagnose a pancreatic tumor, so I found specialized centers in Turkey for pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers in the world, as it is responsible for more than 7% cancer deaths in the world, so what are the symptoms of this cancer? How is it diagnosed and treated? Follow us in this article.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Cancer in the pancreas occurs when pancreas cells multiply out of control, which can result in a mass of tissue.
Sometimes, this mass is benign (not cancerous), and the mass can also be malignant (cancerous) and we have a case of a pancreatic tumor.

The lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1.6%. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is roughly equal for men and women. The typical age at the time of diagnosis is between 65-74 years.

An overview of the pancreas

The pancreas is a gland of the digestive system located behind the stomach. The main functions of the pancreas are to help digest food and regulate blood sugar levels in the body.

The pancreas is involved in maintaining blood sugar levels because it makes insulin and glucagon, two hormones that control the level of sugar in the blood.

The pancreas is also considered an exocrine gland because of its function in manufacturing digestive enzymes (pancreatic amylase...) and at the same time it is considered an endocrine gland because it manufactures hormones such as insulin and glucagon.

A picture showing the location of the pancreas in the digestive system and the body
pancreas positioning

Types of pancreatic cancer

There are two types of tumors that grow in the pancreas: exocrine gland tumors and neuroendocrine tumors.

About 93% of cancers that affect the pancreas are external tumors, and the most common type of pancreatic cancer is called adenocarcinoma.
Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is what people usually mean when they say they have pancreatic cancer. The most common type starts in the ducts of the pancreas and is called ductal adenocarcinoma.

There are rarer forms of external tumors, including the tumor called intraductal myxoma (IPMN), which has begun to appear more in recent years, as this type begins as a benign tumor, but it can grow and become cancerous over time.

The remaining pancreatic tumors, about 7% of the total, are neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) called pancreatic endocrine tumors (PNETs).
These tumors are also called islet cell tumors or islet cell carcinoma. If you have an islet cell tumor, doctors may give it a name based on the type of hormone the cell makes, for example insulinoma would be the name of a tumor in the cell that makes insulin.

Symptoms of pancreatic endocrine carcinoma may differ from those of conventional pancreatic cancer, such as jaundice or weight loss. This is because some PNETs continue to overproduce hormones.

Causes of pancreatic cancer and its risk factors

There is no clear answer to that. We don't know exactly what causes this cancer, but there are some risk factors that contribute to it.

One out of 64 people may develop pancreatic cancer at some point in their life. A risk factor is something that increases the chance of developing a disease. There are risk factors that result from behavior and can be changed. Among these risk factors are the following:

  • smoking.
  • Having diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes associated with obesity. Diabetes is also a diagnostic criterion, as the onset of diabetes may be at an older age (for example, in a person in their 70s) and in a person of normal weight or normal BMI sign of pancreatic cancer.
  • Obesity. Accumulating fat around your waist is a risk factor, even if you're not obese overall.
  • Exposure to chemicals used by dry cleaners and metal workers.
  • Chronic pancreatitis, or pancreatitis, is sometimes associated with smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol.

There are also risk factors that you cannot change. These factors include:

  • Heredity, including some of the conditions that cause chronic pancreatitis, including a family history of pancreatic cancer.
    It is also important to know any family history ofBreast cancer Because genetic conditions associated withbreast cancer, The so-called BRCA syndromes, are linked to pancreatic cancer.
  • Age: over 40 years old.
  • Gender: Men are more likely to develop this type of cancer.
  • Be of African American or Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Do not show pancreatic cancer symptoms It is always difficult to detect, especially in the early stages. However, pancreatic cancer may cause the following:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen that may radiate to the back
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), with itching
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • blood clots

Your healthcare provider may suspect you have it if you have some symptoms and you've recently had diabetes or pancreatitis.

How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed in Turkey?

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect in the early stages. This is because health care providers cannot examine the pancreas on a routine checkup.

If your health care provider suspects you may have pancreatic cancer, he or she may order x-rays to clearly see your pancreas. An endoscopic ultrasound may also be performed.

An ultrasound probe at the end of the endoscope allows visualization of the pancreas through the stomach wall. If needed, an ultrasound-guided biopsy (a sample of pancreatic tissue) can be obtained from the pancreas during the procedure.

A blood test can find a substance called a tumor. High levels of something called CA 19-9 in a patient may indicate the presence of a pancreatic tumor.

According to the recommendations of two of the largest cancer organizations, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), everyone newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer should talk to their doctor about counseling and genetic testing to see if there is a cause. Hereditary to pancreatic cancer.

An image showing how pancreatic cancer is diagnosed with ultrasound
An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a thin tube with a camera on the end that is passed through the mouth into the stomach.

The symptoms of early pancreatic cancer are subtle, and the symptoms of late-stage pancreatic cancer may be serious and require immediate medical attention, so do not hesitate to contact us, the Bimaristan center is your family is in Turkey.

Treatment of pancreatic cancer in all its stages

Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on certain things, including the location of the tumor, the stage the cancer is in, the patient's general condition, and whether or not the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas.

In advanced stages of cancer, treatment for pancreatic cancer is unlikely to be effective. By the time a diagnosis is made, it is often too late for complete surgical removal of the pancreas. However, there are different ways to try to treat pancreatic cancer. These methods include:

  • Surgical removal of the cancerous part of the pancreas. Lymph nodes near the pancreas may also be removed.
  • Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy in TurkeyThis method uses drugs that kill cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy in TurkeyImmunotherapy helps your body fight cancer, but it is largely ineffective against pancreatic cancer, but about 1% of people with pancreatic cancer may benefit from it if they have certain genetic mutations.
  • Targeted therapy. Targeted therapy targets specific genes or proteins that help cancer grow. Genetic testing is generally done to see if targeted therapy is right for you.

Chemotherapy and/or radiation may be used instead of surgery, before surgery to shrink a tumor, or after surgery to make sure all cancer cells are dead.

For pancreatic cancer, it may also include ways to improve digestion and control diabetes.

A picture showing the components removed for the treatment of pancreatic cancer
Surgery to remove the gallbladder and a section of the pancreas and duodenum

Where does pancreatic cancer spread to? What are the latest studies on pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer, which is often not caught early, tends to spread to nearby lymph nodes and then to liver The peritoneum (lining the abdominal cavity) flungs.

Studies on this type of cancer are still largely ongoing, as this cancer has a high death rate compared to other types of cancer.

where indicated recent study Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found that about 90 percent of pancreatic cancers are caused by a mutation in the KRAS gene, which is the most common oncogene of all types of cancer.
Thus, giving drugs to inhibit this oncogene had a major role in inhibiting the growth of pancreatic tumor.

Studies have also recently turned to immunotherapy and biological therapy, as doctors say that pancreatic cancer is one of the cold cancers that is not usually attacked by the immune system adequately, so it indicates A study The mice were subjected to different methods that expose the pancreatic tumor (or make it hotter) for the immune system to make it easier for it to destroy it.

Can pancreatic cancer be prevented?

We don't know what actually causes pancreatic cancer, so it's hard to know how to prevent it. However, you can change your daily behaviors to become healthier.
These tips may help reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer:

  • Do not smoke. If you smoke or use tobacco in any way, try to quit.
  • Try to reach and maintain a normal weight by eating healthy and exercising.
  • Try to avoid diabetes and, if you have it, control your blood sugar levels.
  • Use safety equipment if your work exposes you to toxins.

What is the outlook for people with pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is usually not diagnosed until the advanced stages, therefore, it is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths.
After one year, the survival rate is about 20%, after five years, that figure drops to about 6%, since every year, about 3,000 more people die of pancreatic cancer than from pancreatic cancer. Breast cancer in the United States.

If surgery can be performed and part of the pancreas removed, the average survival rate is 18 to 20 months. The five-year survival rate in such cases rises to 10-25%.

Finally, we find that pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers due to the difficulty of diagnosing it in the early stages, so Turkey has worked to secure the best methods of diagnosis and treatment for this deadly cancer in the absence of early treatment.


  2. Mdanderson
  3. Columbia University Cancer Center

Frequently Asked Questions

After one year, the survival rate is about 20%. After five years, that number drops to about 6%. If surgery can be done and part of the pancreas can be removed, the average survival rate is 18 to 20 months. The five-year survival rate in such cases increases to 10-25%.

Yes, about 20% pancreatic cancers are hereditary.

A patient with pancreatic cancer may die because of the cancer itself, but in some other cases, death occurs for reasons far from the disease or tumor itself, and that is also a large percentage, and his condition may deteriorate within a few days.

Here are some tips to follow in feeding a patient with pancreatic cancer:

Focus on plant foods and limit consumption of meat and animal fats.
Maintain physical activity as much as possible, it is recommended to walk 30 minutes a day.
Stay away from alcoholic beverages and caffeine.
Limit high-fat foods such as whole milk, fast food, and spicy foods such as onions, chili peppers or garlic.

The dietary goals of a patient with pancreatic cancer should be to eat adequate amounts of calories and foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals daily, which will reduce the side effects of treatment.

Studies show that given the difficulty of early detection and recovery of pancreatic cancer, it is important to focus not only on finding appropriate new treatments, but also on effective prevention strategies. Because obesity and overweight are one of the increasing problems in our societies and because they play an important role in risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Targeting these conditions and implementing a healthier lifestyle could be a way to prevent pancreatic cancer as well as other types of cancer and chronic diseases.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grain foods, along with balanced calorie control, could be a valuable tool in future pancreatic cancer prevention strategies.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.