The latest developments in pancreatic cancer
Cancer, which everyone has been following all the details with curiosity in recent years, generally progresses silently. Pancreatic cancer ranks first among cancer types that progress without symptoms. Liv HOSPITAL Ulus Medical Director and General Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Oktar Asoğlu talked about the development of pancreatic cancer and the latest treatment methods. Asoğlu pointed out that a better and longer life is possible with new treatments.
What are the latest developments regarding pancreatic cancer?
When cancer types that are detected early and have not spread to the lymph nodes are caught, there are groups that have good results with surgery. The main task of the pancreas in our body is to secrete enzymes responsible for breaking down and digesting fats and proteins. Some cells here also have a certain lifespan, as elsewhere in our body. Cells die by living according to a certain program and fulfilling their duties. If some cells in the pancreas go out of the program and continue their existence and turn into an invading cell, it is called pancreatic cancer.
Does the treatment and course of pancreatic cancer vary according to its type?
Depending on the type of tumor, tumors arising from the gland structure, namely adenocarcinomas, have a worse course. Tumors called insulinomas or neuroendocrine tumors that arise from the hormone-supplying cells of the pancreas, such as insulin-secreting cells, have a relatively better course. Adenocarcinomas are more common. If we can detect it early, we have a chance to be cured. When symptoms such as jaundice, itching, and weight loss appear, the disease is advanced. It makes signs by forming a mass. We can’t catch it when it’s cellular or very small. It can occur after giving symptoms only after a very large mass has formed, and then it may have spread to the lymph nodes. In other words, it is in the advanced stage and has a bad course. Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, much better results are obtained with both radiation and chemotherapy treatments in advanced diseases. In the past, chemotherapy was very unsuccessful in the treatment of pancreatic cancers. However, good results are obtained in the treatment of pancreatic cancers with new generation drugs. There are effective forms of treatment. Even in metastatic diseases.
Which factors are more important in terms of incidence?
It is particularly affected by smoking and alcohol use. The fact that alcohol and cigarette consumption is more common in men in our country causes pancreatic cancers to be seen more frequently in them.
Do great sadness and stress invite cancer?
In cancer, a cell suddenly begins to gain independence. We don’t know exactly why he won. It is known that sadness and stress cause certain things, but we cannot prove it. Of course, living happily is good for many diseases. But in the world we live in, it seems very difficult to stay away from stress and find ways to cope with stress. It is useful to repeat the classic things, such as being happy, eating properly, moving and walking.
What are the treatment methods in pancreatic cancer?
We can evaluate pancreatic cancers very well before surgery. Thanks to advanced technology, we can determine who will benefit from surgery, and who will benefit from drug and radiation therapy first, using tomography and MRI. We can protect the patient from unnecessary surgeries. It is possible to shrink, destroy or control the tumor by giving medication and radiation therapy before surgery. Then we operate. This is very successful in some patient groups. It can give you a better and longer chance of living. Technically, these surgeries can also be performed with methods such as laparoscopy and robotics, and the advantages of minimally invasive surgery can be presented to patients.
What are the things that cause cancer?
There are carcinogens, that is, substances that activate the formation of cancer, and there are also genetic factors. Carcinogens are about the world we live in. As he moves away from naturalness to make life easier, the way of life he assumes is gradually turning towards the diseases brought by the age, that is, it transforms into cancers. It is a structure that extends from the air you breathe to the way you eat and drink, to your refined food consumption, to the clothes you wear, to the television, to the telephone. Cancer already comes with technology. It comes with your lifestyle. It comes with the environment you live in.
What are the must-do things?
• Consume fresh vegetables and fruits.
• Lead an active life.
• Avoid stress.
• Live ecologically clean.
• Take a vacation.
• Do not smoke.
• Keep your alcohol use under control.