Pancreatic cancer, which ranks 4th among cancer types that cause the most deaths today, has been spreading rapidly in recent years.
While the disease is often detected in the last stage because it does not give any symptoms for a long time and progresses insidiously, when the false beliefs in the society are added to this, both the early diagnosis rate decreases and the treatment of the disease detected in the advanced stage becomes difficult. Acıbadem Maslak Hospital General Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Güralp Onur Ceyhan emphasized that despite all these negativities, very important developments have been made in the treatment of pancreatic cancer today, “Today, thanks to the great steps taken in the field of surgical techniques, new chemotherapy agents and radiation oncology, it has become possible to extend the life expectancy of patients. "With a multidisciplinary team approach in early diagnosis and treatment, we can ensure that patients live longer, and 40-year survival in 5 percent." General Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Güralp Onur Ceyhan explained the promising developments in pancreatic cancer, the wrong beliefs about the disease that need to be corrected in the society, and made important warnings and suggestions.
Pancreatic cancer is an incurable disease! FALSE
TRUTH: Pancreatic cancer is thought to be a fatal disease in the community and has no cure. However, the General Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Güralp Onur Ceyhan said, “The disease can be caught in 3 different stages. One of them is the directly operable stage. According to new data, after these patients are operated and received effective chemotherapy, we can see 50 percent 5-year survival. The second stage is the group in which the cancer has spread to the vessels around the pancreas. In the past, these patients were thought to have no chance of surgery and no treatment other than chemotherapy was recommended. Thanks to modern chemotherapy and radiotherapy methods developed in recent years and applied before surgery, most of these patients are now able to undergo surgery. Thus, we can provide 30-year survival in 40-5 percent of these patients. In this way, tumors that can be surgically removed can now be cured even in suitable patients. "Methods such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy applied after surgery reduce the risk of recurrence of the disease and provide more successful results from the treatment."
It is a type of cancer seen in advanced ages! FALSE!
ACTUALLY: Although pancreatic cancer is usually seen after the age of 65, it can occur at a younger age. Mutations in some genes can be passed from parents to children. In people with some genetic mutations, the age of occurrence of pancreatic cancer can be as low as 30-40s. In addition, people with genetic chronic pancreatitis can also develop this disease at a young age.
It necessarily causes severe pain! FALSE
ACTUALLY: Pancreatic cancer is thought to cause severe pain. However, the disease does not cause pain in one of every 2 patients. Pain often develops when the tumor is injured by pressing the surrounding nerves.
It is a very fast progressing disease! FALSE
ACTUALLY: Contrary to popular belief, pancreatic cancer is an insidious disease that can progress for a long time without any symptoms. Therefore, in one of every 2 patients, when cancer cells spread to another organ, it is usually detected by chance during examinations for another disease. If pancreatic cancer presses on the biliary tract and does not cause jaundice or pain by pressing the nerves, patients live without any serious complaints for a long time unaware of the presence of the tumor. When the disease often metastasizes, that is, it is thought to progress very rapidly, as it is detected as a result of examinations performed due to the complaints it causes at an advanced stage.
Medicinal herbs are beneficial in pancreatic cancer! FALSE
ACTUALLY: Yarrow, turmeric, wheat syrup, black cumin, bitter apricot and many more… Since it is a common belief that medicinal herbs are effective in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, patients can seek the solution in these plants. However, contrary to popular belief, Professor warned that these plants do not contribute to the treatment. Dr. Güralp Onur Ceyhan said, “Some of the herbs described as medicinal may benefit patients' immune system. However, in patients who do not receive the necessary treatments by relying on them, the tumor can progress and spread to other organs due to the delay of the actual treatment ”.
Pancreatic cancer always causes jaundice! FALSE
ACTUALLY: Pancreas; It consists of 3 parts: head, body and tail. "Symptoms of pancreatic cancer vary according to the location of the tumor in the pancreatic gland," said Prof. Dr. Güralp Onur Ceyhan continues his words as follows: “If the tumor develops in the head part of the pancreas, when it grows, it can cause jaundice by closing the bile ducts. However, even if the tumors that occur in the body and tail of the pancreas reach large sizes, they do not cause jaundice since they have no connections with the bile ducts. These patients consult a doctor with more pain complaints.
Pancreatic cancer always leads to diabetes! FALSE
ACTUALLY: Sudden diabetes can be an important symptom of pancreatic cancer. Therefore, in this case, an examination for pancreatic cancer must be done without wasting time. However, contrary to popular belief, pancreatic cancer does not always lead to diabetes. Prof. Dr. Güralp Onur Ceyhan said, “When diabetes is due to pancreatic cancer, it occurs as a result of the pancreas not being able to secrete insulin sufficiently. In cases where the entire pancreas does not need to be surgically removed, the pancreas can regain its strength over time. Therefore, some patients cease to be diabetic, ”he says.“ In cases where the entire pancreas needs to be removed, diabetes develops because insulin cannot be secreted. However, this situation is rare. "
Cuban vaccine treats pancreatic cancer! FALSE
ACTUALLY: Prof. Dr. Güralp Onur Ceyhan said, “There is misinformation in the society on this subject. It is thought that the Cuban vaccine can also cure cancer, and therefore pancreatic cancer. However, it does not have any therapeutic effect on pancreatic cancer. "If there were, this treatment would be served all over the world and applied everywhere."