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Pancreatic Cancer in Illinois

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What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the more common types of pancreatic cancer. The majority of the pancreas is made of exocrine cells. These cells form the exocrine glands and ducts. When exocrine cells start to grow out of control, pancreatic adenocarcinoma will begin to form. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, on the other hand, are a less common form of cancer and form in the endocrine cells, which make up a small percentage of the cells in the pancreas. Generally, pancreatic cancer spreads quickly to neighboring organs and is often undetected in its early stages. If you, or a loved one, have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or suspect you have pancreatic cancer, it's important to partner with a GI specialist who can provide swift assistance. At GI Alliance of Illinois, our team of providers works diligently to provide the best care they can. For more information or to request a consultation, contact your nearest Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL, location.

What can cause pancreatic cancer?

Studies of the cause of pancreatic cancer have not been conclusive. Generally, cancer forms when cells in the body grow and divide without stopping. For some, they inherit a different gene mutation that doesn't halt this uncontrolled growth. Sometimes these gene mutations can happen when a person is exposed to a chemical that causes cancer, such as that in cigarettes.

Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Pancreatitis
  • Age (most people are diagnosed over the age of 65)
  • Family history of genetic syndromes including:
    • BRCA2 gene mutation
    • Lynch syndrome
    • Familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma (FAMM) syndrome

How can I prevent pancreatic cancer?

Some ways to prevent pancreatic cancer include:

  • Don't smoke (either quit or don't start)
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and routine exercise

About 10 percent of individuals with pancreatic cancer have a familial history of pancreatic cancer. If you have a family member that has or has had this disease, you should schedule an appointment at your nearest GI Alliance of Illinois location for regular screenings.

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Some of the major symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stool
  • Jaundice (yellowing eyes or skin)
  • Greasy stools
  • Depression
  • Sudden weight loss or poor appetite
  • Pain that spreads from the upper abdominal to the back
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • New-onset diabetes
  • Blood clots

if you have experienced any of these symptoms or a combination of them, please reach out to one of our providers in or around Illinois.

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There are several ways to treat pancreatic cancer, which will be decided by your GI Alliance of Illinois provider depending on the stage of cancer. Some treatments include:

  • Removal of tumors through ablative treatments (extreme cold or heat)
  • Surgery
  • Immunotherapy (stimulation of immune system)
  • Embolization treatments to remove tumors (block blood flow to tumors)
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical trials

Our team is here to help you decide the best course of action to treat your cancer.

Because pancreatic cancer is often left undetected in its early stages, it's important to screen for the disease if you or a loved one is at an increased risk of developing it. Our gastroenterologists are here to partner with you to help you prevent, diagnose, and treat pancreatic cancer. For more information or to request a consultation, contact your local GI Alliance of Illinois in or around Illinois today.

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The staff was friendly and efficient. Amy S. was wonderful and caring and remembered details of my issues without digging through notes. She spent enough time with me to develop a plan of action that included my input. She is great!

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The staff is always welcoming & professional. PA Amy takes time to listen to my issues, ask questions and offer possible solutions. She orders appropriate diagnostic tests at a convenient location for me. They follow up with results.

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Dr.Arndt is an excellent physician who provides great care for his GI patients. His interpersonal skills and ability to explain causes and solutions for conditions in easy to understand terms are fantastic. Thank you for all your great care.

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Great doctor. Professional, attentive, and knowledgeable. Feel at ease under his care.

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