What is the pancreas?
The pancreas is the second largest organ after the liver in the human body lying behind the stomach in the abdominal part. It is the organ of the digestive and endocrine systems. The main key function of the pancreas digestion and blood sugar regulations. It produces the hormone, insulin and releases it into the bloodstream where it regulates the metabolism of sugar and also secretes digestive juices and enzymes into the small intestine where it breaks down the food left in the stomach. The enzymes include:
- Amylase– to break down carbohydrates
- Lipase– to break down fats
- Trypsin and Chymotrypsin– to digest proteins.
What is pancreatic cancer?
Cancer is one of the most horrifying diseases of human beings and is a major cause of death all over the world. More than a million people die from it annually. There are various types of cancer that are adversely affecting human life and are associated with different parts of the body, and Pancreatic cancer is one of them. As its name depicted, it is associated with the organ “Pancreas.”
In our body, the growth of cell and differentiation are highly operated and regulated. In cancer cells, there is a breakdown of this mechanism. Normal cells show a property known as contact inhibition, and the cancer cells appear to have lost this particular property as a result of which the cancerous cells divide unstoppably that ultimately give rises to masses of cells called tumors. Tumors are of two types: benign and malignant. As the cells actively divide and grow, they also crave the normal cells by competing for vital nutrients. Cells sloughed from the tumors reach distant sites through blood, and wherever they get lodged in the body, they start a new tumor there.
In the United States, Pancreatic cancer is the third most common cause of death. Over 38,000 are diagnosed each year, and only 7% of them survive more than five years. The earliest stage of pancreatic cancer is denoted by 0 and then ranges from 1(I) to 4(IV), lower the number lesser will be the chances of its extension.
Scientists, always focusing on the bacteria as most of the diseases caused by bacterias and not giving much attention to fungi. But the recent studies showed that the fungi could be a reason for pancreatic cancer. Fungi reach the pancreas through the pancreatic duct. Malassezia, a kind of fungi responsible for dandruff triggers the immune mechanism; experiments revealed that pancreatic cancer grows 20% faster when the pancreas contains Malassezia species.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and less treatable types of cancer, and because of the organ’s position in the body, also very hard to diagnose at early stages.
The symptoms of Pancreatic cancer include:
This dreaded disease can be prevented by:
- keeping a healthy weight
- avoiding alcohol
- increasing the consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruits(especially citrus fruits)
- drinking plenty of water.