Pancreatic Cancer

Topics: Digestion, Pancreas, Cancer Pages: 4 (505 words) Published: April 15, 2014

Living with Pancreatic Cancer
HS200, Section #2
Unit 2 Capstone Project: Case Study #4: Pancreatic Cancer
Kaplan University
April 7, 2014

Andre is a 69-year-old man who was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He owns a chain of Italian restaurants and is well known in the community. He is married and has a large family including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every holiday all of his family is treated to a home cooked meal that Andre prepares himself. This year he is concerned that he may not be able to cook for an upcoming holiday. This saddens Andre and he feels depressed. The Pancreas is a gland located in the abdomen, behind your stomach and in front of your spine, which plays a role in the digestive system. The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones that help break down your food. The gland also produces the hormone insulin and secretes it into the bloodstream in order to regulate the body's glucose or sugar level. The pancreas is a 6- to 10-inch long organ; it is spongy and shaped somewhat like a fish that is extended horizontally across the abdomen. It is here where the stomach empties partially digested food into the small intestine and this chyme mixes with the secretions from the pancreas. There are two main types of tissue found in the pancreas: exocrine tissue and endocrine tissue. Most of the pancreas - about 95% - is exocrine tissue that produces pancreatic enzymes to aid digestion. A healthy pancreas makes about 2.2 pints (1 liter) of these enzymes every day. A healthy pancreas is able to produce the right chemicals at the right times in the right quantities in order to properly digest the food we eat. After food enters the duodenum, the exocrine tissues secrete a clear, watery, alkaline juice that contains several enzymes that break down food into small molecules that can be absorbed by the intestines. Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the...

References: American Cancer Society, Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on March 19, 2013
© 2013 WebMD, LLC.
Peter Crosta, June 2008
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