The human body is a composition of cells,
tissues, and organs among others that under
typical conditions work in harmony to preserve
health. However, there are specific instances
when certain cells in the human body develop
at an abnormal speed and as a consequence a
person could get sick with different aliments,
Inform the students about one of the most difficult
types of cancer to diagnose and take care of, the
The audience will learn about the most important
details of pancreas cancer such as risk factors,
symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Educate in order to facilitate them with the necessary
tools that will lead the society into a healthy lifestyle,
prevention of diseases, and if necessary the right
course of action.
Cancer is a disease of the cells. There are several common
types of cancer because the cells become abnormal. These
abnormal cells grow and destroy body tissue and can spread
to other parts of the body.
If these cells lose the ability to control their growth, they
grow too quickly and without causing any order to create a
large amount of tissue called a tumor.
There are two types of tumor:
• Benign-not cancerous
• Malignant-is cancerous
The pancreas is about 6 inches long and sits
across the back of the abdomen, behind the
The head of the pancreas is on the right side of
the abdomen and is connected to the duodenum
(the first section of the small intestine) through
a small tube called the pancreatic duct.
The narrow end of the pancreas, called the tail,
extends to the left side of the body.
The pancreas plays a very important role in the
digestive process, producing enzymes essential for
digestion of food.
The other function of the pancreas, which can be
described as "fuel control", is produce insulin.
More than 95% of the cells of the pancreas are
Exocrine glands, responsible for producing pancreatic
Such glands break down fats and proteins from food so
that nutrients can be absorbed by the small intestine.
Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor in the pancreatic
The exocrine and endocrine cells of the pancreas may form
completely different tumors. These tumors may be benign
(non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Exocrine tumors are by far the most common type of
cancer of the pancreas
EXOCRINE TUMORS: called adenocarcinoma or
These adenocarcinomas typically start in the ducts
of the pancreas.
Sometimes can develop into cells of the Exocrine
glands that produce the pancreatic enzymes
Endocrine are much less common than previous ones and affect the
cells of the pancreatic islets.
They are known as islet cell tumors or neuroendocrine tumors and
are divided into several sub-types. Most of these are not cancer
(benign), but there are a few that are cancer.
Is very important to distinguish cancer of the endocrine pancreas
exocrine pancreatic cancer since each tumor type has different
causes and risk factors, causes different symptoms and is diagnosed
using different tests, because the probability of survival.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are not
usually presented during the early stages of the
Many patients are at advanced stages, people may
have different symptoms depending on the
location, the type of tumor.
The symptoms that often lead to the diagnosis of
the disease include: jaundice or yellow skin,
abdominal pain or from back, unexplained
weight loss and lack of appetite.
Smoking: significant risk factor and may cause about 20-30%
of all pancreatic cancer cases.
Family History: If a person’s mother, father, sibling, or child
had pancreatic cancer, then that person’s risk for developing the
disease increases by 2-3 times.
Race :African-Americans have a higher incidence of pancreatic
cancer compared to individuals of Asian, Hispanic or Caucasian
descent. There is also a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer
among Ashkenazi Jews, possibly due to a mutation involving
the breast cancer (BRCA2) gene that is found in about 1% of
individuals of this background.
Gender: Slightly more men are diagnosed with
pancreatic cancer than women. This may be linked to
higher smoking rates in men.
Diabetes: Pancreatic cancer is more likely to occur in
people who have long-standing (over 5 years) diabetes.
Diet: A diet high in red and processed meats is thought to
increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer
Obesity: Obese people have a 20% increased risk of
developing the disease compared to people who are of
According to the American Cancer Society,
there are no established indications to prevent
ACS recommends keeping a healthy weight,
and increasing the consumption of fruits,
vegetables and whole grains, while it decreases
the consumption of red meat, but there is no
consistent evidence that it can prevent or
• Cancer vaccines
• Small studies, also indicated that vitamins B such
as B12, B6 and folic acid, may reduce the risk of
pancreatic cancer when consumed in food, but not
when ingested in tablet form.
Most of the patients with pancreatic cancer experience pain,
weight loss, or jaundice.
Pain is present in 80 percent of patients with advanced disease
and is usually felt in the upper part of the abdomen
Finally to diagnose cancer of the pancreas is frequently used a
fine needle aspiration technique. The doctor inserts the needle
through the skin into the pancreas guided either with
endoscopic ultrasound or computed tomography images
Treatment of pancreatic cancer depends on the stage of the
cancer. The Whipple procedure is the most common surgical
treatment for cancers involving the head of the pancreas. This
procedure involves removing the pancreatic head and the curve
of the duodenum together making a bypass for food from
stomach to jejunum and attaching a loop of jejunum to the cystic
duct to drain bile. It can only be performed if the patient is likely
to survive major surgery and if the cancer is localized without
invading local structures.
By 2014, estimates the American society against
cancer for this cancer in the United States are:
approximately 46,420 people (23,530 men and
22,890 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic
cancer, approximately 39,590 people (20,170 men
and 19,420 women) will die from pancreatic
cancer. The incidence of pancreatic cancer rates
have been rising slowly over the last 10 years
According to the studies carried out in relation to this disease, give
us account that the majority of cases is fatal, so it is important to
make changes the your lifestyle does not guarantee but it markedly
decreases your risk of developing cancer in the pancreas. In
addition, Center for the Control and prevention of diseases indicates
that you have medical check-ups annually contributes to early
detection. It is of great importance the genetic factors and biological
of the disease, currently doctors and researchers around the world
are working to develop better treatments for pancreatic cancer
cooperative research centers of excellence in this country-driven and
many others continue daily testing and new surgical techniques,
strategies of radiation, chemotherapy agents and alternative
therapies in an effort to improve the treatment.
ACS (2011). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/espanol/cancer/cancerdepancreas/guiadetallada/cancer-de-pancreas-causes-risk-
ACS (2012). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/espanol/cancer/aspectosbasicossobreelcancer/que-es-el-cancer
AXA Canal Salud Salud: Materiales educativos: Oncología: Tipos de tumores pancreáticos. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.axa-
CANCER ORG (2012). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-treating-by-stage
Cáncer de páncreas tratamientos, síntomas e información en Dmedicina. (n.d.). Retrieved from
PCAN (2014). Risk Factors. Retrieved from