Pancreas is a gland with internal and external secretion. This organ in the human body has two important functions:
- It produces and secretes digestive juices which help food digestion,
- It produces and secretes hormones (insulin and glucagon) that regulate blood sugar levels. These hormones help the body to store and use energy obtained from food.
Juices that aid in digestion are produced in the exocrine pancreatic cells (cells with external secretion), while hormones such as insulin and glucagon are produced in pancreatic endocrine cells (cells with internal secretion).
Pancreatic cancer is the most fatal form of cancer for the adult population, percent of people surviving in 5 year period is less than 8%.
It takes fourth place among U.S cancer deaths and generally the reason is detection in late stage.Early symptoms of pancreatic cancer are non-specific or similar to the symptoms of many benign conditions.
Diagnostic procedures in routine tests include blood count and sedimentation. Besides routine examinations, it is necessary to examine liver enzymes, alkaline and acid phosphatase, urea, creatinine and electrolytes.
Latest studies reveal that intake of the meat often is associated as main risk for pancreatic cancer. But most of the findings are not showing same results. To be resolved this inconsistency in results, group of researchers from Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and the University of Southern California start 7 year journey to investigate relation between the meat and pancreatic cancer risk.
Оn population of 190,000 people between 45-75 years, for 7 years period, the study shows that people who ate the most processed meats had 67% higher risk for pancreatic cancer, rather than people who ate small amounts of meat. Also very important is the way of preparing the meat like smoking and cooking at high temperatures which produce PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), substances which are carcinogenic
There are some additional factors that can cause pancreatic cancer such as age, sex, tobacco, alcohol, overweight or genetic syndromes, some of which can not be changed.
Very important aspect of the study, shows that there is no association of pancreatic cancer with intake of fish, eggs, saturated fats, dairy products, or cholesterol foods.
Pancreatic cancer prevention
Because processed and red meat were associated like a potential risk for pancreatic cancer, you should exclude them from your diet. For decreasing overall risk of pancreatic cancer, there is always appropriate replacement for overcoming your needs of processed meats:
- Spicy vegetarian sausages are always better choice instead of bacon, chorizo or salami.
- There are a lot of different sources of proteins like: hummus, cottage cheese or eggs.
- Replace sausage in chili and sauces with kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.
- If your dish is not so tasty, use spices and herbs like: fennel seed, garlic or chili.
- Choose fresh chicken or fish instead of packaged deli meats