New Technology Helps Find Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer known.
The disease is hard to detect and is usually found when it has progressed too far to be cured. But researchers are using new technology that might prevent some people from developing the disease.
The pancreas is an important organ that produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the body's blood sugar. The pancreas, however, is hard to see. It is at the back of the abdomen and is covered by the stomach and the liver. That is why doctors have a hard time identifying early tumors during normal physical examinations.
Doctor Somashekar Krishna says that is why only 9 percent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are alive five years after doctors find the disease. Krishna is an endocrinologist, a person who studies hormones and the organs that produce them.
"The cancer doesn't produce any symptoms early on," he said.
Patricia Beatty went to the hospital with what she thought was a stomach virus. However, during a scan of her stomach, the doctor found a cyst.
"He told me that the cyst was there and that it was precancerous," Beatty said.
Pancreatic cancer can develop in one of two ways. The disease starts either as a cancerous tumor, or it starts when a cyst becomes cancerous. The difference between a tumor and a cyst is that a tumor is solid, while a cyst is filled with fluid. Cysts on the pancreas are common. Most are not cancerous. Doctors can test fluid from inside the cyst, but it is hard to tell which cysts will develop into cancer.
Cancerous tumors or cysts can be identified with special imaging tools. But imaging is so costly that it cannot be used as a usual testing device.
Krishna led a study of a new device that gives doctors a microscopic look at cysts at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Krishna says his study showed that the new device is highly accurate.
"We can diagnose cysts with the accuracy of 96% to 97%," he said.
The method uses a tiny microscope with a laser light to produce a picture of the inside of the cyst.
Krishna and others are training doctors across the U.S. to use this new technology so they can more accurately identify precancerous cysts.
However, doctors will only use the new method after other imaging tests are ordered for another reason. That means the cancer will still grow silently in most people until it is too late to save them.
Krishna told VOA that a blood test is the most sensible way to find pancreatic cancer early. But he noted that the test has not been developed yet although researchers continue to work on one.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.Pancreatic cancer 胰腺癌
Obesity is known to increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, a particularly aggressive type of cancer.
2.blood test 血液检测
We had a blood test at school today.
3.physical examinations 体检
Instead, diagnosis relies on physical examinations of the patients.
4.blood sugar 血糖
The shaking inside may be due to low blood sugar, too much caffeine or too many cigarettes
5.Doctors can test fluid from inside the cyst, but it is hard to tell which cysts will develop into cancer.
it is hard to tell 很难说
Sometimes it is hard to tell how a quarrel comes about.
But sometimes, I find it is hard to tell others when I do not like what they are doing.
6.That means the cancer will still grow silently in most people until it is too late to save them.
too late to ...为时已晚
It's too late to back down now.
I'm afraid it's too late to catch the first bus.
这种疾病很难检查出来，通常是病情发展到无法治愈时才会被发现 。但是研究人员正在利用新技术，可能防止部分人群患上这类疾病 。
胰腺是产生胰岛素的重要器官 。胰岛素是一种控制人体血糖的激素 。但是胰腺很难被观察到 。它位于腹部后侧，被胃和肝脏遮挡着 。这就是为什么医生在普通体检时很难发现胰腺早期肿瘤的原因 。
索玛什卡·克里希纳（Somashekar Krishna）医生表示，这就是为什么只有9%的胰腺癌患者在医生确诊后存活率超过5年的原因 。克里希纳是一名内分泌学家，专门研究激素和产生激素的器官 。
帕特里夏·比蒂（Patricia Beatty）以为自己是肠胃病毒感染到医院就诊 。然而，医生对其胃部进行扫描时发现了一个囊肿 。
胰腺癌可以通过两种途径发展而来 。这种疾病一开始是癌性肿瘤，或者是囊肿癌变 。肿瘤和囊肿的区别在于肿瘤是肉瘤，而囊肿是液泡 。胰腺上的囊肿很常见，大多数都没有癌变 。医生可以检测囊肿内的积液，但是很难判定哪些囊肿会发展为癌症 。
癌性肿瘤或囊肿可以通过特殊的影像工具来鉴别 。但是这种影像鉴别的成本很高，无法作为常规的检查设备 。
克里希纳在俄亥俄州立大学维克斯纳医学中心领导了一项新设备的研究，该设备可以让医生们对囊肿进行微观观察 。克里希纳表示，他的研究表明这种新设备的精确度很高 。
然而，由于其它原因，医生只有在经过其它影像学检查后才能使用这一新方法 。这意味着这种癌症仍然会在大多数人的体内悄无声息地生长，直到病入膏肓 。
克里希纳对美国之音表示，验血是尽早发现胰腺癌的最佳方法 。但是他指出，尽管研究人员仍在继续努力，但是尚未开发出这种检测手段 。