FAQ - pancreatic diseases
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can pancreatic deficiency cause diabetes and any other diseases? can it be cured? how severe is it?


Hi, Whenever I eat almonds/cashews/pista , my stool has lot of these . It appears as if they come out as I eat without any change. Does that indicate pancreatic insufficiency?
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Nope. It just indicates you should chew better.

Pancreatic insufficiency would impact your digestion of everything, including water.
It can range from minor and short term -- caused by an injury or other illness -- and resolve on it's own with several days of bowel rest (IVs only, no food or water).
To severe and permanent, requiring daily pills to replace the enzymes your pancreas doesn't make, and a modified diet.

The pancreas manufactures insulin. That's where the diabetes connection comes in.
Insulin, however, is not the only enzyme the pancreas creates.  (+ info)

How Long Can Someone Expect To Live With Pancreatic Cancer?


I'm planning on writing a book about a girl whose father is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I've researched a lot, but the one thing I'm having difficulty with is finding out how long the cancer will take to kill him. I realize that this varies a lot based on health and when it's first detected, but can anyone give me a generalization for how long it could be?

Also, what types of diseases would the doctors test him for before they realize what it really is?

Thank you so much!
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This isn’t difficult to answer at all and it doesn’t vary all that much. Less than 20% survive the first year. 3% survive 5 years. Nonresectable or stage 4 disease has a median survival of 2-6 months.

Doctors don’t really check for diseases. Tests are run based on history, physical exam and symptoms. What these tests tells them either diagnosis the problem or determines what other tests need to be done. Tests would start with a CT and blood tests, followed by an ERCP or an EUS. MRI is not often used for diagnosis.

I have never seen this disease diagnosed early unless it is diagnosed by accident and those are the only long term survivors I have seen. Patrick Swayze lived just short of 2 years. He was treated with Cyber Knife which is not widely available.  (+ info)

Is there any cure for pancreatic disease in the brain?


Cause my grandma is dying of pancreatic disease in the bones and I'd give up anything to have the cure if there is.
bones and brain I mean
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http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/von_hippel_lindau/von_hippel_lindau.htm  (+ info)

What is pancreatic cancer and how do you get it?


I now know of 5 people who have had Pancreatic cancer and died within 3 months. I don't understand why it isn't caught earlier so people can live. How do you get it? How do you get diagnosed early so doctors can do something about it. We have so much techology out there to fight cancer. Why are people dying of this. Why does this disease kill people so quickly?
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Good question. Here is some brief info on it and why it's so hard to diagnose and what the major causes are: http://health.yahoo.com/ency/healthwise/ncicdr0000062957

Here is the site for pancreatic cancer:
http://www.pancreatica.org/  (+ info)

Can I determine my chances of getting pancreatic cancer since my mother died of this?


My mother died of Pancreatic cancer and my only sibling of Glioblastoma multiforme(Brain tumor). My mother was in her 70's, but my brother was only 50 at death. I am 51 and am more concerned about my chances of developing Pancreatic cancer and if I can be tested for the tumor marker for this disease.
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This link gives information about pancreatic cancer, heredity and screening.

It says that 1 in 10 cases are due to inheriting an abnormal gene. Those with a close relative – parent or sibling - with pancreatic cancer have an increased risk, but if nobody else in the family (other than your mother, in your case) has had it then it’s unlikely to have been caused by an abnormal gene.

http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=15559  (+ info)

What causes pancreatic disease and pancreatic failure? Can Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Arthritis affect it?


Please list some supplements/herbs that promote pancreatic health.
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sugar is what kills the pancreas

follow a diet as if you are a diabetic  (+ info)

What would be the link between emaciation and pancreatic disease?


(Hint: Think about the dual function of the pancreas!!)
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Pancreatic diseases might be divided into a couple of categories: those, which affect the digestive system and those that affect the bloodstream.

Both categories might be linked.

Pancreatitis, the most common problem for example, could be regarded as the early stage of the more systemic problem of Septicaemia. It is caused by a back-up of bile in the bile ducts, caused by gallstones. Since bile is analogous to a foul drainage system, it carries much of the harmful bacteria and toxins, expelled by our coarser immunity systems.

Since bile is, by nature, pretty toxic, when it backs up, it infects the Pancreas. The immediate, lower level effects can be dramatic weight loss. I lost, in the three problems, I had, some 14Kg each time!..........in less than a week!

The Pancreatitis is often a precursor of Septicaemia. Because this can be related to infections of the urinary tract and Lungs, in the earlier stages the victim can find himself in need of anti-biotic courses. This can cause the deeper problem in that the septicaemic infection can become drug resistant and then you are in trouble with a capital T!

The standard remedy for Pancreatitis is stabilisation by multiple anti-biotic courses and removal of the Gall Bladder.

The issue with this is that, if treatment is left too late, then the digestive system can start digesting itself!......... Your digestive tract becomes a lump of Goo!

The deaths of most sufferers is almost certainly due to the fact that surgery was offered too late.

Severe, dramatic weight loss, accompanied by wild swings in core temperature (sweats and shivering) are classic indicators of Gall Bladder blockage, causing Pancreatitis.

It can manifest itself and then disappear of its own accord, due to the Gallstones, causing the problem, dislodging and being expelled from the body. Eventually such natural corrections will fail and surgery will be required, or the sufferer will die.

The problem can re-occur after Gallbladder removal, due to the fact that the new direct confluence of Gall Duct and Intestine can be very narrow and become obstructed by scar tissue. The sufferer then finds a reoccurrence of the Pancreatitis and Septicaemia.

A "minor" procedure, called E.R.C.P. will open the end of the Bile Duct, preventing further blockages. The recuperation period is painful and long, but full recovery is likely and the remission of problems quite spectacular.

I am in the recovery phase of E.R.C.P. at the moment, having suffered drug resistant Gram-Negative Septicaemia, due to secondary gallstones. I look forward to a much more active and enjoyable life.  (+ info)

Why is lipase elevated when no pancreatic disease?


I have had thorough testing for an elevated lipase level. Everything has been normal and I have no symptoms. Are there other reasons for lipase elevation?
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Another possibility is a bad gallbladder. However, liver enzymes will be out of whack also.  (+ info)

My Dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. How will he die? Does anyone know the progression of the disease?


I swear, I have searched every website but all I get is statistics, facts and figures. I just need to know how it is going to happen. Is it heart related? Does he just go to sleep? Is it painful? Will it be scary and aweful for him or us?
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I don’t mean to sound cold or uncaring, but you asked a question so I will address it as best I can.

I am a cancer registrar, I stage and report cancer for the hospitals I work for. This requires I review the case from the patients symptoms and in many cases till their deaths. In most cases when the end is near the family is notified and patient is putt on comfort measures only. They are given medications to make it as painless as possible and they are monitored closely. The nurses are trained to look for signs of pain as often the patient cannot tell them and the medication is adjusted accordingly.

I do not see many patients with pancreatic cancer in a lot of pain. As the disease progresses you will see a change in their coloring, a loss of appetite, weight loss, some confusion and they are tired a lot. Many of them die in their sleep.

If the doctor should discuss hospice with you I urge you to take it. These are truly wonderful people and far more qualified to answer your question than I am.

I believe death is harder on the people left behind than it is on the person who dies. Death is a natural part of life and I think there is something in us that kicks in during that time, just like it does shortly before you have a baby.

I hope this helps you a little.  (+ info)

What could be the signs of pancreatic cancer if there are no symptoms?


As we know, this killer disease has no symptoms and only diagnose when it's too late. What could be done to avoid this or what to do to find out if you are not getting this? Does it start by having stomach aches or similar to indigestion or colon cancer symptoms?
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Pancreatic cancer, primarily ductal adenocarcinoma, accounts for an estimated 37,000 cases and 33,000 deaths in the US annually. Symptoms include weight loss, abdominal pain, and jaundice. Diagnosis is by CT. Treatment is surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Prognosis is poor because disease is often advanced at the time of diagnosis. (Merck)
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. The disease is slightly more common in men than in women, and risk increases with age.
The cause is unknown, but it is more common in smokers and in obese individuals. Almost a third of cases of pancreatic cancer are due to cigarette smoking. There is controversy as to whether type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. A small number of cases are known to be related to syndromes that are passed down through families.
(MedlinePlus)
Prevention
Although there's no proven way to prevent pancreatic cancer, you can take steps to reduce your risk, including:
* Quit smoking. If you smoke, quit. Talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit, including support groups, medications and nicotine replacement therapy. If you don't smoke, don't start.
* Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of pancreatic cancer. If you need to lose weight, aim for a slow, steady weight loss — 1 or 2 pounds (0.5 or 1 kilogram) a week. Combine daily exercise with a plant-focused diet with smaller portions to help you lose weight.
* Exercise regularly. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you're not used to exercising, start out slowly and work up to your goal.
* Eat a healthy diet. A diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains is good for you, and may help reduce your risk of cancer.
(MayoClinic).  (+ info)

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