Pancreatic cancer is a rare but severe cancer, and it is often difficult to diagnose until it has advanced. When you combine this with a lack of knowledge and awareness within the general population, this cancer is very dangerous. In order to combat this, the Olympus Corporation of the Americas has launched a new website that will provide information on screening, risk factors, treatment facilities, and even patient stories.
About Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer occurs in the pancreas, an organ that is responsible for a number of enzymes and hormones. These aid in various processes throughout the body, such as digestion and maintaining blood sugar. There are multiple forms of pancreatic cancer, depending on which part of the organ is impacted. The two main types are exocrine pancreatic cancer and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Regardless of type, symptoms include unintentional weight loss, diabetes, blood clots, dark urine, pain in the upper abdomen and back, jaundice, a loss of appetite, fatigue, bowel obstruction, and depression.
Doctors are unsure as to what causes this cancer; they only know that cells begin to grow and multiply out of control until they form a tumor. This lack of knowledge can make it difficult to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer, which is already notoriously hard to diagnose. Affected individuals often do not notice symptoms until the cancer has already progressed, meaning that a diagnosis does not come until the cancer is in its later stages. Once diagnosed, treatment options include surgery, targeted therapy, radiation, chemotherapy, and supportive care.
About the Website
Olympus released their website in November, as it is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which coincides perfectly with their goal. Their hope is that spreading awareness will lead to more screening, earlier detection, and eventually better outcomes for patients.
Because of the low risk of pancreatic cancer, there are currently no routine screening practices in place. Those at high risk are the exception to this rule. These people are regularly screened using a number of imaging tests, with an endoscopic ultrasound being a major one.
This method for screening is a favorable one, as it allows physicians to see abnormalities in the pancreas and surrounding organs in one use. The website will educate on this process, and they will also push for more people to be regularly screened.
Hopefully this website will aid in spreading awareness and lead to more screening for pancreatic cancer. You can read more about it here.