Pancreas is nothing but a large elongated exocrine gland that located behind the stomach and is responsible for the secretion of pancreatic juice and insulin. The major diseases of the pancreas include the pancreatitis and the cancer of the pancreas.
This is a disorder that causes the inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is caused when the digestive enzymes from the exocrine gland becomes hyper active within the pancreas, instead of getting activated at the duodenum and thus start digesting the pancreas itself. The common symptoms of this disorder include severe abdominal pain and can also cause nausea and vomiting. Pancreatitis can be classified into two types namely the acute pancreatitis and the chronic pancreatitis.
1- The acute pancreatitis usually occurs all of a sudden and may be a single or recurring event. This disease can be very fatal and the abdominal pain in this case is very severe.
It also causes internal bleeding and infection that can be life threatening. The primary cause of this disease is the blockage of the pancreas by gallstones
2- Chronic pancreatitis is often accompanied by persistent abdominal pain and may or may not present with the raised pancreatic enzymes. This type of disorder develops gradually and causes a slow destruction of the pancreas. It also causes other infections like bacterial infections and type 2 diabetes. The primary cause of this is alcoholism and gall bladder disease.
This is fourth major cause of the cancer death in the United States and has resulted in the death of 32000 people last year. Various factors result in pancreatic cancer. Some of them include smoking, age, gender as it is more common in men, chronic pancreatitis and exposure to certain chemicals.
These types of cancers develop in the exocrine tissues.
Pancreatic insufficiency is also another common disease where the pancreas becomes dumb and cannot produce digestive enzymes and it occurs due to pancreatic damage.