A Possible Link Between Pancreatic Cancer and Diabetes

A Possible Link Between Pancreatic Cancer and Diabetes

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Over the years, it is easy to see that the more research being conducted throughout the different areas of the male body, the more connections are being found between one illness and another. Among the connections between two illnesses found in the past 40 years include a link between diabetes and pancreatic cancer. The link was found after looking over data from between 1973 and 2013 and the University of Melbourne researchers that the link they found was time-dependent.

The Study

The researchers examined 88 international studies that were conducted during this time frame and this study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. It was one of the largest analysis that took an in depth look at the topic.

When they look at the cases of pancreatic cancer, they found that the illness was often found at a later stage in the cancer and at an incurable position. Because diabetes happens because the body is unable to produce a healthy level of insulin and maintain it, problems can arise in the pancreas. More on the relationship between the pancreas and insulin can be found in the next section.

Pancreatic cancer numbers aren’t nearly as high as other cancers in men, but there is some belief after looking through this study that there should be some sort of pre-screening process done. The University of Melbourne’s Dr Mehrdad Nikfarjam, a liver, pancreas and biliary specialist from the Department of Surgery said the screening should be prioritized by patients that have “new-onset diabetes but can later be expanded to long-standing diabetic patients.”

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is something that is a life-long problem for millions of men and women around the world. This chronic illness occurs when there is a high level of sugar found in the body at one time. When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, it is usually because their insulin levels are low. Insulin is a hormone produced naturally in the body and when it doesn’t, issues arise. When your insulin levels are normal, the hormone helps the glucose flows into the bloodstream. Glucose is known as a major fuel producer of the human body, but only when the insulin moves glucose into fat, liver cells and muscle.

When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they have a high amount of blood sugar in the body to the point that they can’t move the sugar into the areas of the body that need it the most to operate. This occurs for many reasons including because the insulin isn’t being produced enough by the pancreas and the cells in the body don’t respond normally to the insulin.

There are two types of diabetes that a person can be diagnosed with:

  • Type 1 Diabetes

This form of diabetes can occur at any age, but type 1 diabetes is normally found in young adults, teens and even children. In this case, the body produces very little insulin or none at all. The cause of type 1 diabetes is not known, but daily injections are needed to maintain a healthy life.

  • Type 2 Diabetes

This is the most common form of diabetes and occurs usually only in adults. There are cases now because of the high rate of obesity in the United States is so high that is being diagnosed in younger patients, but still, the majority of the patients are older. In many cases, type 2 diabetes is something people will have and not even know.

Pancreatic Cancer

One of the most dangerous aspects of pancreatic cancer is the simple fact that there aren’t many symptoms that would tell you to worry until it is already too late. Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed in its later stages and at that time, despite the possible symptoms like weight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss, and even with treatments like radiation, surgery and chemotherapy, results are fatal more often than not.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cancerous cells grow in the tissues of the pancreas. This gland is located in the human body behind and in front of the spine. One of the roles of the pancreas is to produce hormones (like insulin) and digestive juices that are all meant to regulate the blood sugar level in your body. In most cases of pancreatic cancer, the exocrine cells are where they first start. These cells are those that produce the digestive juices in the body.

There are five stages of pancreatic cancer and three ways the cancer can spread to other parts of the body. The first way it can travel through the body is through the tissue, while traveling through the lymph system and through the blood are the other two methods. In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the pancreas and there is a good chance that these abnormalities can turn into cancer. By the time your body has reached stage IV, the cancer may be any size possible and could have spread to the liver, lungs or other organs.

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