What Types of Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Are there

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer with a very low survival rate. The survival rates at five years are only around 5% and this is due to it often not being caught early. However, even when it is caught early, only around 20% survive past five years. Generally speaking, after a diagnosis, most people only live for another seven months. Pancreatic cancer is incredibly rare in the under 40s and only becomes common in those who are over 60.

What Types of Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Are there?

There are in essence three kinds of pancreatic cancer that are determined by their location on the pancreas.  It can occur on the top or head of the pancreas, the bottom or tail of the pancreas and in the body of the pancreas.  In over 70% of the case, pancreatic cancer is found in the head or top of the pancreas.  Once the location of the pancreatic cancer tumour has been determined, it will then be diagnosed as a specific type of pancreatic cancer, of which there are also three.

What Types of Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Are there – Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer

Exocrine cancers are the most common.  These start in the cells that line the ducts of the pancreas.  A pancreatic duct is in essence a tube used to carry the digestive juices from the pancreas to the duodendum.  Exocrine cancers can also be caused by cysts and by cancer of the sarcomas and acinar cells.  However, this is incredibly rare. 

What Types of Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Are there – Endocrine Tumours of the Pancreas

Endocrine tumours are very rare and require different treatment than exorcine cancers.  One third of all endocrine tumours produce hormones.  Those that do not produce hormones are called non functioning tumours.  The hormones produced by endocrine tumours determine the name of the tumour and these can be:

  • Insulinomas, relating to insuline
  • Gastrinomas, relating to gastrin
  • VIPomas, relating to the VIP hormone
  • Somatostatinomas, relating to the somatostatin hormone
  • Glucagonomas, relating to the glucagon hormone.

What Types of Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Are there – Pancreatic Lymphomas

Lymphoma of the pancreas is one of the rarest forms of pancreatic cancer and is treated similarly to non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  This is because lymphoma of the pancreas is not pancreatic cancer.

As you can see, there are three types of pancreatic cancer, which can be found in three different locations on the pancreas.  The most common form of pancreatic cancer is exotrine pancreatic cancer found on the head of the pancreas.  Treatment of pancreatic cancer will vary depending on the type of pancreatic cancer you have and on which part of the pancreas it is located.  Generally, treatment for pancreatic cancer includes chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.  However, for each of these treatments, the patient needs to be in a reasonable good overall state of physical health to be able to withstand the treatments.  This is very often not the case, which is another reason why pancreatic cancer is so deadly.

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