Why is pancreatic cancer incurable?

Pancreatic cancer: symptoms & course - is it curable?

Pancreatic cancer is a rather rare type of cancer. The tumor is difficult to diagnose and is therefore usually discovered late. You can find out what the chances of recovery are for those affected here.

Anyone who gets pancreatic cancer (pancreatic cancer) has only a low chance of survival. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), only eight percent of those affected live five years after the diagnosis. This explains why pancreatic cancer is rare, but the disease ranks third among the most common deaths in Germany: around 16,000 people develop it in Germany every year.

Smoking and fat increase the risk of cancer

The exact causes of pancreatic cancer are not known. However, there are various factors that favor cancer: smokers have an increased risk of developing the disease, and the same applies to excessive alcohol consumption. Obesity and a high-fat diet also make this cancer more likely. Previous illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, chronic pancreatitis or a stomach ulcer are also among the cancer triggers. However, the disease also affects people who live healthily. The disease rarely has genetic causes.

No clear symptoms

Most patients become ill between the ages of 60 and 80. Men and women are roughly equally affected, but men are affected at a slightly younger age. Pancreatic cancer initially proceeds with little or no symptoms, which can also occur with harmless diseases. More obvious symptoms usually only appear when the cancer has already affected other organs. Jaundice, loss of appetite, weight loss and itching are typical of pancreatic cancer. In addition, there are complaints such as diarrhea, vomiting or stomach and back pain.

Disease is usually discovered too late

In order to improve the chances of healing and thus the chances of survival, it is important to detect the cancer as early as possible. But because there are no characteristic symptoms, doctors often diagnose pancreatic cancer late. Because the tumor is aggressive and spreads quickly, more than half of the patients already have metastases at the time of diagnosis. It is then usually too late for an operation that would have to remove all cancer cells.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

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