Are you becoming a pancreatic cancer expert? My hope for you is that you never need this information but it is here for you. We have covered symptoms, test and risk factors and now we need to talk about treatments. Pancreatic cancer is has a low survivability rate because of the fact that it is usually diagnosed after it has spread and therefor it is in a later stage for diagnosis. However pancreatic cancer does have low survival rates.
For exocrine pancreatic cancer if you are diagnosed with stage 1A your 5 year survival rate is only 14% and that is stage 1 . When you get to stage 3 you have only a 1% chance of surviving 5 years! If you have pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer your survivability is much greater with a stage 1 diagnosis you have a 61% chance of living 5 years and at stage 3 it drops to 41%. Unfortunately the neuroendocrine cancers are rather uncommon. The majority of persons diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have the exocrine cancer.
The types of treatment used are the same as in many cancers. There is surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
With surgery there are two types of surgery the first is when all the imaging tests show that they can remove all the cancer this is considered curative surgery. Most curative surgeries occur when the cancer is located near the head of the pancreas. Cancers found here are usually caught early because when tumors are located here they usually cause jaundice or the yellowing of the skin and white parts of the eye.
The next type is called palliative surgery this type refers to surgery where the cancer has spread and it cannot be all removed. This surgery is done in order for the patient to be more comfortable and to prevent other problems. Before you consider having the palliative type surgery you need to ask your doctor about the recovery time and how much longer it will extend your life.
Although surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the most common treatments for pancreatic cancer there are some other choices. They are just not used as often but you can check them out by clicking here.
Radiation therapy is very common and the side effects are the same as when any abdominal region is exposed to the radiation. You will experience a pink coloring to your skin such as when you get a sunburn, you will have tummy trouble too. Unfortunately when you have your abdomen radiated you will get nausea, vomiting, diarrhea loss of appetite and weight loss.