A Guide To Surgery And Chemotherapy For The Treatment Of Pancreatic Cancer

Health & Medical Blog

If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer and you are trying to find the right treatment options, you are likely to be nervous as to what will happen in the near future. However, the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be even more terrifying, given that its one and five-year survival rates aren't very good. Therefore, it is very important to be sure that the most appropriate cancer treatment center for pancreatic cancer will be chosen. Asking the following questions of each treatment facility will help you to narrow down the choices.  

The Unique Challenges Of Pancreatic Cancer

It is important to note that during 2016, it is estimated that more than 1,600,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Of those, more than 53,000 people will have pancreatic cancer. Since pancreatic cancer often develops with few symptoms during its early stages, effective treatment options for it often need to be very aggressive in order to be effective. You are likely to find that your course of treatment is different from that of other people undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, due to the severity of your illness and your overall health at the time of treatment. Pancreatic cancer almost always starts in the duct, and removal of part or all of the pancreas is often necessary. 

The imaging tests that are frequently helpful for locating and determining appropriate treatment options are not always useful for the detection of pancreatic cancer, especially if it has already spread to other parts of the body. In that instance, your oncologist may need to attempt to surgically remove the cancer from your pancreas. Surgical removaI of the cancer is only a viable option if it hasn't spread outside the pancreas or has only spread a tiny amount at the time of surgery. In addition, you will also need to be healthy enough to withstand the rigors of surgery and recovery. That means that if your immune system is compromised or if you have other health challenges that could negatively impact your surgical experience, the doctor will probably recommend other treatment options.

Understanding The Use Of Chemotherapy For Pancreatic Cancer

Although many people have heard of chemotherapy, there is still an enormous lack of information as to its efficacy in modern society. For example, you may be surprised to learn that in some situations, you will be able to get some or all of your chemotherapy at home. Unfortunately, using chemotherapy by itself rarely provides the remission everyone is hoping for. 

If the cancer has expanded outside the pancreas at the time of diagnosis or scheduled removal, it is common to avoid the surgery due to the probability of failure. If that happens, aggressive chemotherapy with regular blood work may be recommended, as it may be possible to shrink the cancer using chemotherapy and then remove the remaining cancerous cells. Alternatively, you may need the surgery for the pancreatic cancer that is still localized and then have surgery to hopefully prevent its return.   

In conclusion, pancreatic cancer is a serious problem and is a leading cause of death each year. If you have recently been diagnosed with it, it is essential to speak with your oncologist to form and implement a treatment plan. If you're looking for a cancer treatment center, go to sites like the one linked to in this sentence.


22 December 2016

Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands

My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.