Pancreatic Cancer Causes
Pancreatic cancer occurs when there
is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells in the pancreas. These cells all derived from a single clone; due to
certain factors, these cancer-initiating cells, have acquired certain characteristics that allow them to divide
indefinitely without going through natural death. Early cancer cells are confined to the tissue of the pancreas;
as the tumor grows, some cancer cells can migrate from their original site to form metastases in other tissues
in the body.
Usually, cancer cells grow
within the pancreas. In most cases, the tumor develops in the ducts that carry the pancreatic enzymes to the
duodenum; however, in a small group of individuals, sometimes the cancer cells begin in the portion of pancreas
that produce insulin, islets of Langerhans.
There are several forms of
pancreatic cancer, depending on the types of cells involved; the two main types are:
- Exocrine pancreatic cancer(adenocarcinomas) - adenocarcinomas account for nearly 95% of exocrine
pancreatic cancer. Usually, this type of cancer is formed in the excretory duct of the pancreas which opens
into the duodenum.
- Endocrine pancreatic cancer
– also known as known as
neuroendocrine tumor, or pancreatic islet cell tumor, endocrine pancreatic cancer refers to any
develops in the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas. There are in total 5 subtypes of
endocrine cancers of the pancreas,depending on
the hormone-making cell affected:
the cancer forms in the cells that produce insulin;
the cancer forms in the cells that produce glucagon;
the cancer forms in the cells that produce gastrin;
the cancer forms in the cells that produce somatostatin;
also known as Verner Morrison
syndrome, VIPomas forms
in the cells that produce vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP).
Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors