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A great deal remains unknown when it comes to the cause of pancreatic cancer although evidence points to genes and lifestyle as two of the key factors involved. Unfortunately, it is one of the most difficult diseases to treat. One of the main reasons why it is very hard to deal with is that its early stages often have no obvious symptoms. Quite often the disease only gets spotted in an advanced stage when treatment is much more challenging. In this situation, it might be impossible for doctors to cure the disease, so they focus their efforts on trying to slow down its progress.

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1. The Whipple procedure

This is the most common surgical procedure, and in some cases, it helps to cure the disease completely. The surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, part of the intestines and sometimes they also need to remove part of the stomach. The surgeon connects the remaining part of the pancreas to the small intestine. As this description indicates, this is a complicated surgical procedure that takes a very long time. It also often damages the digestive system. Approximately one out of three of those who go through the process will need to take enzymes to help them to digest their food.

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