Understanding The Causes & Alternative Treatments of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer has developed to be an impactful condition for most individuals in the US and globally. A survey conducted between 2015 and 2017 shows roughly 39.5% of people would have the condition at one point in their lives1. While in the US, more than 57000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020, translating to more than 158 diagnoses daily. Based on this data, pancreatic cancer ranks ninth among cancers afflicting American women and tenth among cancers affecting American males.
Even though there is currently no cure for cancer, knowing the causes of pancreatic cancer and the best course of therapy can help you manage the pancreatic disease and enhance your health. Read on to discover more about the causes of pancreatic cancer and the various therapies.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
This cancer type develops in the pancreas when the cells increase out of control and spread to other body organs. There are two types of pancreatic cancer: pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most frequent cancer type, and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), which are less prevalent.
Causes of Pancreatic Cancer
It is hard to say what causes Pancreatic cancer because Pancreatic cancer still has unclear causes. However, medical professionals have found a few things that could raise the risk of this kind of cancer, like:
- Tobacco abuse: Cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. It accounts for around 20% to 35% of the cases 2.
- Poor diet: If you are fond of consuming red and processed meats, food rich in sugar, cholesterol, or fried, you risk developing pancreatic cancer.
- High abuse of alcohol: Alcohol consumption forms part of the risk factor for chronic pancreatitis. Three or more alcoholic beverages each day could make you more vulnerable.
- Obesity: Obesity, especially in adulthood, may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer 3.
- Hereditary chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis refers to pancreatic inflammation from alcoholic abuse over a long time. Pancreatic cancer can also be hereditary.
- Gender or sex: Pancreatic cancer affects women more than men. Hence, there are higher chances that men are less likely to develop this condition 4.
- Age: Individuals between 65 and 74 are at a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- Family background: Approximately 10% of individuals affected by this condition have a family background relating to pancreatic cancer 5.
- Certain infections: For instance, if you have a background of H. pylori infection in your digestive tract, it may raise your risk, despite its precise connection to pancreatic cancer. Your risk may also be increased by having hepatitis B.
- Workplace environment: Pesticides and dealing with specific chemicals, notably those used in metalworking, may play a role in some occurrences of pancreatic cancer.
- Diabetes mellitus: If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, your risk of developing pancreatic cancer may be greater.
How Is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed?
Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer also increases your chances of survival and recovery. Pancreatic cancer symptoms include jaundice, abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss, vomiting, and others. One sign of pancreatic cancer, jaundice, involves yellowing of the eyes and skin 6. Therefore, it’s crucial that you visit your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any unusual symptoms or have any of the risk factors mentioned above.
Your doctor will thoroughly assess your symptoms and past health history. If they suspect pancreatic cancer, you may be subjected to one or more of the following tests:
- Blood examination to see if tumor marker CA 19-9 is developing, a clear sign of pancreatic cancer.
- Scans through MRI or CT scan to have a whole outlook and clear picture of your pancreas.
- A thorough examination of your tissue samples or biopsy of the pancreas.
- Inserting an endoscopic ultrasound to allow a thin, flexible tube fitted with a camera to get down and scan your stomach to show the outlook of your pancreas.
Alternative/Natural Treatments of Pancreatic Cancer
Once you have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, your provider will undertake a staging phase to determine your condition’s severity and the extent of its spread. This will determine if the pancreatic cancer is at stage 0 or stage IV and gives way to the best treatment course.
Normally, your doctor may recommend conventional treatments, most of which entails:
- Surgery: Mainlyused to treat almost all cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Although it is one of the greatest pancreatic cancer treatment plans, several risks are involved. For instance, you may encounter excessive bleeding or even an infection.
- Use of Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy means you will be subjected to intense x-ray radiation. After surgery, doctors use intraoperative radiation therapy to kill any cells they might have missed and lessen the probability that cancer may return after surgery.
- Chemotherapy Treatment Plan:Involves using a medication that is either ingested or intravenously delivered into the body. The medicine enters the bloodstream and destroys fast replicating cells, such as cancer cells.
Many of these conventional and new pancreatic cancer treatment optionshave side effects that can leave you feeling exhausted physically and with an impaired immune system. As a result, you may opt for a more effective alternative pancreatic cancer treatment.
The best alternative treatments entail a personalized and targeted therapy plan that depends on the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Alternative treatments aim to specifically train and activate your immune system to attack cancer cells more effectively. They also provide resistant system components or immune system supplements created by humans to strengthen your defense system.
Alternative cancer treatments typically focus on a wide range of diverse medicines designed to aid in the battle against cancer. Some of these treatments involve the use of:
Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, is intended to increase the body’s natural immunity against cancer types. It employs components either from the body or created in a lab to enhance, optimize, or recover immune system performance. Immunotherapy coupled with chemotherapy is also being investigated in new clinical studies.
Pancreatic cancer patients with pancreatic cancer may get immunotherapy, an alternative therapy that enlists the aid of their immune systems in the fight against cancer types. For instance, checkpoint proteins typically prevent immune cells from attacking healthy cells. But, checkpoint proteins can occasionally be used by cancer cells to camouflage themselves. Checkpoint inhibitor medications help the immune system detect and react to cancer cells more effectively. Immunotherapy treatments take the following forms:
- Cancer Cell treatment
- Monoclonal antibodies
- Anti-cancer vaccines
- Lymphokine-activated killer LAK
Intravenous Curcumin Therapy
Curcumin is a polyphenolic compound and turmeric’s primary active component. This compound has anti-inflammatory qualities, allowing it to function as a potent antioxidant. Hence, it is a well-known remedy for easing digestive problems and lessening arthritis-related joint pain. Due to its capacity to disrupt cell signaling pathways, curcumin can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells while promoting apoptosis.
Curcumin IV therapy assists in preventing cancer cell growth in the absence of invasive surgery or other traditional cancer treatments. It may also help to decrease tumors and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in other body parts.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
Radiofrequency ablation works with the help of heat and electrical energy to eliminate cancer cells without endangering nearby healthy tissue. In addition to removing cancerous tissue, radiofrequency ablation may also lessen the pain and discomfort brought on by cancer symptoms. This somewhat new treatment can also be used on some precancerous cells, such as the esophageal lining cells, in people with Barrett’s esophagus.
Cryoablation, also known as cryotherapy or cryosurgery, is an ablation procedure that utilizes extremely low temperatures to kill the tissue. This form of cryoablation therapy can be applied to many forms of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, to remove cancerous cells or abnormal tissue from affected tissues and thereby reduce tumors. Temperatures are lowered to below -75 degrees Celsius during the cryoablation procedure. This can safely and effectively remove pancreatic tumor tissue and cancer cells while causing the least amount of harm to healthy tissue around them.
These are only a few of the numerous alternative pancreatic cancer treatments that are available to you. They are designed to provide a painless and all-natural means of assisting your continuing healing while minimizing any potential adverse effects from conventional treatments.
Pancreatic cancer treatments might vary from cancer patient to cancer patient depending on factors, including medical history, and your doctor may adjust as necessary based on how you react to various treatments.
Uncertain causes still exist for pancreatic cancer. However, a few things can make you more likely to get this illness. For instance, your risk of developing pancreatic cancer is higher if you smoke, drink a lot, or have diabetes. Your healthcare professional will need to evaluate your unique demands and cancer severity to determine the best course of action. Discussing your treatment options with your doctor is crucial for the best results.
At Immunity Therapy Center, we help manage your pancreatic cancer and improve your health. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about alternative cancer treatments or have us create a personalized cancer care plan for you.
Written By: Dr. Pablo Orozco
Dr. Pablo Orozco is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.
Dr. Orozco has been a treating physician at the Immunity Therapy Center for more than 3 years, providing daily on-site patient care. He works with patients on a daily basis and guides them through the treatment process. Dr. Orozco’s passion for Alternative Cancer Treatments, along with his commitment to patient care, is key to ensuring that our patients have the best experience and results possible.
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.