Pancreatic Cancer: The Silent Killer.

Cancer is a very devastating disease or one among the leading cause of disease in the world and in the United States (US). The basic definition of the disease is an abnormal growth of cells in the body according to the national cancer institute (NCI) (2015). Normally old cells die so new cells can form; however, as the affected cells become more abnormal and damaged, they survive when they should die. Cancer can affect any place in the human body when the cells grow out of control and take control of the normal cells. The growth of the abnormal cells makes it very difficult for the affected organs or the body in general to work the way it used to work before cancer (National Cancer Institute, 2015)

Different types of cancer

According to the national cancer institute, there are multiple types of cancer diseases. The names or the types of cancer vary based on the affected organs or tissues where the cancers form (2015). Two best examples of the origin of the names or description of types of cancers are lung and brain cancers. 

In the article titled cancer facts and figures 2019 published by the American Cancer Society, breast, lungs, prostate, colorectal, liver, and pancreatic cancer are among the most common and the deadliest type of cancers in the United States (2019). In this article, the American Cancer Society also predicted that there would be an estimated of 1,762,450 new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States with pancreatic cancer itself responsible for 56,770 new diagnosis and 45,750 deaths (2019).

What is pancreatic cancer?

The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach. Through the islets of Langerhans, the pancreas secretes two important hormones in the blood which are insulin and glucagon according to the national cancer institute (2015). In order words, the pancreas plays a crucial role in the digestive system by producing fluids that are needed to break down food and control blood sugar levels. As for many organs in the body can form cancer, the pancreas is not exempt. The type of cancer that forms in the pancreas is called pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is made of two categories of cells called endocrine pancreatic cells and exocrine pancreatic cells. The endocrine pancreatic cells make several kinds of hormones that control the actions of certain cells or organs in the body such as insulin to control blood sugar, whereas the exocrine pancreatic cells that make enzymes that are released into the small intestine to help the body breakdown food according to NCI (2015). Each one of these two categories of cells can cause a different type of tumor with 95% of cases arising from the exocrine cells (National Cancer Institute, 2015). 

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