Endocrine Cancer Medical Program 2017-12-06T09:52:06+00:00

CubaHeal

Endocrine Cancer Medical Program

The endocrine glands are responsible for the carefully balanced production of hormones which act to chemically control various body functions such as reproduction, metabolism and growth.  They include the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testis. All hormones are directly released into the bloodstream reaching targeted cells or organs. Tumours can develop in any of the endocrine glands and may cause disruption in the normal hormone production by either causing hormonal deficiency or overproduction both of which can cause serious illness.

The endocrine glands are responsible for the carefully balanced production of hormones which act to chemically control various body functions such as reproduction, metabolism and growth.  They include the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testis. All hormones are directly released into the bloodstream reaching targeted cells or organs. Tumours can develop in any of the endocrine glands and may cause disruption in the normal hormone production by either causing hormonal deficiency or overproduction both of which can cause serious illness.

Endocrine cancer is very rare with ovarian cancer and thyroid cancer most common. Most endocrines are benign (non-cancerous) can easily be treated with ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer being the exception.

Pituitary Adenoma

The pituitary gland is located at the base (but not part) of the brain and is often referred to as the “master gland” due to its great influence on body organs and in regulating hormones responsible for the overall well-being of individuals. Although tumors in the pituitary gland are usually benign (adenoma –  the name given to non-cancerous tumour in glandular system) and rarely spread to other parts of the body they can grow in size and may cause visual impairment, headaches, reduction of sex hormones, infertility, headaches and irritability.

The following treatment is offered:

  • Neurosurgery: surgery for the removal of the tumour and surrounding tissue remains one of the most common methods of treatment depending on the size of the tumour, its location and whether it is creating other health issues such as visual impairment.

Thyroid Cancer:

The thyroid, a small gland made up of two connected lobes, is found in the front of the neck below the larynx and is responsible for controlling body functions such as body temperature, metabolism, heart rate and blood pressure. Thyroid cancer develops when some cells change and become cancerous.  In general, thyroid cancer is slow in developing, least deadliest of the head and neck cancers and the most curable of all cancers.

The following procedures are offered in Cuba:

  • Hemithyroidectomy: standard surgical procedure for the removal of one of the thyroid lobes. The procedure is very safe with little risk of damage.
  • Thyroidectomy with radical dissection: a common surgical procedure for the removal of part or all the gland. Radical dissection is performed if there are lymph node metastases.

Pancreatic Cancer:

The pancreas is located deep in the abdomen and is part bothe the digestive system and the endocrine system. 90% of the pancreas is responsible for the production of enzymes that aid in digesting fat, cholesterol and proteins the remaining 10% is responsible for the production of hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, that regulate glucose metabolism. Pancreatic cancer is often hard to detect due to its deep location within the body and because it gives off little symptoms until the cancer is well developed.  There are two types of pancreatic cancers the first and most common is cancer of the exocrine pancreas (the part of the pancreas that makes the enzymes); the second is cancer of the endocrine pancreas (the part of the pancreas that makes the hormones).

The following treatment programs are offered:

  • Pancreatoduodenectomy: also known as the Whipple procedure and is the most commonly performed surgery for pancreatic cancer. This procedure is the removal of tumours found in the head of the pancreas (the widest part and where most tumours are found). Due to the fact that the pancreas is intermingled with other organs, the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), bile duct and at times part of the stomach are also removed and then are reconnected to the digestive and biliary system.
  • Distal pancreatoduodenectomy: the body and tail of the pancreas (the narrowest part) are surgically removed when tumours are located in one of these two areas. This procedure also includes the removal of the spleen.
  • Total pancreatoduodenectomy: performed if the cancer is in an advanced stage and has spread to many parts or the whole of the pancreas. It entails the removal of the entire pancreas, part of the small intestine, a portion of the stomach, the common bile duct, the gallbladder, the spleen, and nearby lymph nodes. Please note that this procedure is inoperable with obstructive jaundice (a blockage of the flow of bile from the liver to the duodenum also known as mechanical jaundice).  

Adrenal Cancer:

The adrenals are two glands each of which is located on top of a kidney. There are two parts to the adrenal glands.  The outer part called the adrenal cortex and is responsible for the production of the hormones cortisol, aldosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone which controls metabolism and body characteristics. The inner part is called adrenal medulla and is responsible for the production of hormones that control the body’s responses to stress.

There are two types of adrenal cancer, functioning tumour ( a tumour that causes the overproduction of hormones) and non-functioning tumours ( a tumour that does not produce hormones). However, most cancers found in the adrenal glands have their origins in other parts of the body such as the lungs or breast.

  • Adrenalectomy: the most common treatment for adrenal cancer and is the surgical removal of the one or both adrenal glands in both benign or cancerous tumours.  Adrenalectomy may also be performed if cancer has metastasized (spread) from another area. If only one adrenal gland is removed then the remaining one takes over without the need for medication.

Treatments

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  Recently I accompanied my sister to Cuba to seek medical help. We used the services of Cuba Heal which was the best decision we made, From we landed in Havana we were greeted and treated with such love and respect, we were able to relax while Cuba Heal Representatives took charge of our lives. It felt good to be in a Spanish speaking country without having to worry about a single thing. I want to thank the entire staff of Cuba Heal for their professionalism in handling our affairs.

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11/03/2017

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