Medical Awareness >>   Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer


Pancreatic cancer forms in the pancreas, deep inside the abdomen between the stomach and the spine. The pancreas has two major components:

  • The exocrine component comprises ducts and small sacs at the ends of the ducts. These generate enzymes that help the body break down and digest food, especially fats in the small intestine.
  • The endocrine component comprises clumps of cells located throughout the pancreas. These secrete hormones that play multiple roles in coordinating the body's metabolism. 

The majority of pancreatic cancers that occur are exocrine cancers.


Pancreatic cancer often occurs silently because symptoms may not develop right away or be apparent initially. Also, there's no reliable test to detect pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic people. As pancreatic tumors grow, many symptoms that develop seem like that of other medical conditions. Symptoms can include:

  • Chills and sweats
  • Fever
  • Bloating and gas
  • Gastrointestinal distress or stomach burning sensation
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Upper back or upper abdomen pain
  • Swelling in an arm or leg
  • Signs of jaundice


Treatment depends on the cancer stage. Treatment is focused on two things: to kill cancerous cells and to prevent the spread of the disease.

Loss of weight, bowel obstruction, pain in the abdomen, and liver failure are the most frequent complexities during treatment.

  • Surgery

Surgery can be opted based on two things: the location of cancer and the cancer stage. Surgery can remove whole or some parts of the pancreas. 

This can kill the original tumor, but it cannot remove cancer if spread to other body parts. Surgery may not be suitable for people with high-stage pancreatic cancer.

  • Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy makes use of X-rays and other high-energy beams to kill cancer cells.

  • Chemotherapy

In some cases, the healthcare provider might combine other treatments with chemotherapy, which uses cancer-killing drugs to help prevent the expected growth of cancer cells.

  • Targeted therapy

This treatment uses drugs or other measures to specifically target cancer cells and work to destroy them, and these drugs do not harm healthy or normal cells.

Fact sheet:

Facts: Cases of pancreatic cancer in India are increasing. The prevalence rate in Indian men is 0.5 to 2.4, while 0.2 to 1.8 per 1,00,000 in women. Smoking and a sedentary lifestyle could cause this cancer.

PGC Resolution: Early detection, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment for pancreatic cancer in India. Spreading awareness and information of this cancer.