Pancreatic cancer: analysis of disease and treatment options
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Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease with very poor prognosis as it is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths worldwide. Pancreatic cancer may manifest in different ways and there are a number of different genetic mutations that can lead to carcinomas of the pancreas. This study reviewed some of the genetic alterations seen in pancreatic cancer and how they appear in the context of disease progression. While progress has been made in identifying genetic mutations that may contribute to pancreatic cancer, more work has to be done to solidify biomarkers and potentially contribute to early detection of the disease. Pancreatic cancer is often asymptomatic until late stages of disease, which is why it is often diagnosed at such a progressed state. Late detection contributes to its poor prognosis as it unlikely to have curative potential at such a late stage. Approach to treatment generally depends on the stage at diagnosis. This study reviewed a number of different treatment options including surgical resection, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Surgical resection is currently considered the only cure for pancreatic cancer. The other treatment options may be helpful in reducing recurrence of cancer and/or increasing survival. Targeted therapy is a very recent approach that is currently used as a treatment to manage pancreatic cancer with fairly positive outcomes. Hopefully, with further exploration into this individualized approach and modification of current targeted agents we are able to discover a cure for this devastating disease.