Chasing Diabetes' Connection to Pancreatic Cancer
Posted: Jan 14, 2018
It has been found out that there are approximately 30 million Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The number of patients to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is around 54,000 every year.
For many years, researchers and scientists have been trying to find the link between pancreatic cancer and diabetes. Their goal is to find a connection and use it for earlier diagnosis so that treatment is more effective.
Both, pancreatic cancer and diabetes affects the body’s same organ. Previous studies have found that diabetic patients who have been fighting this disease for many years are at a slightly higher chance of getting pancreatic cancer as compared to those who do not have diabetes. Although diabetic patients mustn’t think and panic that they will get pancreaticcancer, they should stay more alert.
The Link between the Two
Analysts and scientists say that diabetic patients should be aware of their risks for developing pancreatic cancer. Researchers are not exactly able to find out why, but their studies have pointed out that those people who have been battling the disease of diabetes for quite a few years were found to be at a higher risk of getting pancreatic-cancer.
It can work the other way around as well. Having pancreatic cancer can raise the chances of causing newly diagnosed diabetes in patients.According to oncologists that are knowledgeable in their field of pancreatic cancer, diabetes can be caused by pancreatic cancer. This can be an opportunity to intervene and detect any early signs of pancreatic cancer. Ongoing research is being conducted to find ways of identifying any early indications of pancreaticcancer in recently diagnosed diabetic patients.
How Can Diabetic Patients Be Screened For Pancreatic Cancer
Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer in its early stages can show imprecise, or no symptoms at all. On top of that, patients often disregard symptoms of indigestion and back pain. It is only when these symptoms get worse that the patient makes an appointment with their doctor for a checkup. At this point, there is not much that can be done for them.
Oncologists use a range of imaging tests such as endoscopic ultrasound, MRI,and CT scans to look for signs of pancreatic cancer. It would be impractical and too expensive to use these tests on diabetic patients to find out if they might have pancreatic cancer. What they need is a method or test that will detect and screen diabetic patients that have higher chances of developing pancreatic cancer.
A 5-year study is being conducted that will help recognize any biomarkers in newly diagnosed diabetic patients in their screening tests.
The Sandler-Kenner Foundation was started by Gregory A. Echt, M.D. and his wife, Susan T. Echt, after they lost two of their dear friends, Michael and Peter, to premature deaths from pancreatic cancer.