|*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions. |
I cannot speak for those who replied before me, but my mother's diagnosis IS Pancreatic Cancer, not pancreatitis (they are two different diseases), and hers is inoperable and terminal, which I suppose makes it chronic.
There is no stigma to the disease whatsoever. It is the general consensus among the medical community that smoking is a contributing factor, but there is no actual science to back up that theory. (for lung cancer, yes... for pancreatic cancer, no)
As her daughter, I am however taking the cause to heart. Not due to stigma (I do hate smoking) but because I don't want this for myself or my children - so we as a society ruminate of causes of these things.
My mother did smoke, upwards of two pack of cigarettes a day. However I don't feel this contributed much. She carried a few extra pounds most of her life, but was never obese. She was always dieting, diet drinks, etc. She did consume copious amounts of Sweet-N-Low dialy for most of her life, as well as other sweetners, aspertame, etc... and these substances DO have lots of science to back up their cancer connections.
What makes this type of cancer so awful is that there is no real screening for it. She just turned yellow one day (jaundice), so they tested her liver and completed a CT Scan, which revealed a possible tumor in the area between the pancreas and the liver. With an endoscope (ERCP) they could see protrusion into her duodenum and that her bile duct was squished because of it. They placed a stint to relieve the squish, and her color corrected. A biopsy confirmed it was cancer. She also had nodules on her lungs. They were pancreatic too (it had metastisised) making it a stage 3 and inoperable.
This is how this type of cancer usually presents itself. It is usually too far along, so research for earlier screening is probably the most important goal for this cancer.
She is taking chemo, but it is palliative only, meaning it is only to make her comfortable, and buy her some extra time with us.
I hope this helps you understand the things you need to for your paper, and to educate your fellow classmates. Diet and lifestyle decisions you make today follow you through your entire life. Its important to study and understand.
For more information, you can also search the NIH website - it is an online medical research warehouse. I use it often to stay informed.
Best of Luck!
Reply to this message | Return to Main Message List