What is Glucagonoma Pancreas?
Glucagonoma is the tumour of islets cells of the pancreas that secretes glucagon. A normal level of the hormone glucagon triggers the liver to secrete glucose or sugar into the blood. Glucagon is a hormone of the pancreas that regulates blood glucose levels in the body. But in patients having glucagonoma, there is excessive proliferation of those islet cells of the pancreas that secretes glucagon resulting in excessive secretion of glucagon more than the amount required to the body causing diabetes, skin rash, blood clotting, mood changes, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, and anemia.
Disease Etiology (Causes)
Glucagonomas are rare tumours of the pancreas. There is no known reason. The only known risk factor for glucagonoma tumour of the pancreas is a disease called Type 1 Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome (MEN1). This is a hereditary disease that causes excessive secretion of pancreatic hormones or promotes tumour production.
Signs and Symptoms
The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- High blood sugar levels (type 2 diabetes)
- Painful itch and rash on the face, abdomen, and legs
- Unexplained weight loss
- Deep vein thrombosis (formation of blood clots in the deep vein of the leg, these clots can cause leg pain or swelling).
- Frequent urination or excessive volume of urine
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis; these are
- Imaging techniques like CT-scan, MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography), MRI, TUS (transcutaneous ultrasonography), and PET-scan.
- Endoscopic USG
- CBC ( complete blood count)
- BSR( Blood sugar random), Fasting blood sugar, and GTT ( glucose tolerance test)
- Blood tests for serum insulin and glucagon levels
- Histo-pathological examination of the pancreatic cell’s tumour
The main treatment is surgery (surgical removal of the cancerous part of the pancreas and the other tumour sites), Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the treatment options for advanced metastatic cases. Along with it, certain medicines are prescribed to manage the symptoms.
What Support can we Give for Glucagonoma Pancreas?
Glucagonoma Pancreas is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Glucagonoma Pancreas, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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