After a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, exploring your treatment options is key.
If you've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, exploring treatment options is your next important step. Treatment options will vary based on a number of things including the stage of the cancer, whether or not it has spread, the specific type of pancreatic cancer it is, if surgery would be possible, your overall health and more.
• Radiation treatment involves using high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. It's sometimes used in preparation for surgery or as a post surgical treatment. Radiation therapy is focused on the cancer site, and typically prescribed several times each week for a period of several weeks to several months. Side effects associated with radiation include skin irritation, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite and an increased risk of infection.
• Chemotherapy treatment involves using oral or intravenous drugs to kill cancer cells. It's often used in combination with radiation, and can be beneficial when fighting cancer that has spread beyond the pancreas and/or can't be completely removed via surgery. Side effects associated with chemotherapy include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, hair loss and an increased risk of infection.
• Surgery may involve completely removing a cancerous tumor(s) or partially removing a tumor in an effort to provide relief from cancer symptoms and/or help prevent complications. A Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) involves removing the head of the pancreas, part of the small intestine, the gallbladder, part of the bile duct and possibly a portion of the stomach. There is also surgery that involves removing the tail of the pancreas and possibly the spleen.
To learn more about pancreatic cancer treatments, including Medical Center of Plano's noted surgical oncology services, visit our Cancer Resource Center online or call us at (214) 473-7894. If you would like help finding a doctor, please call our physician referral line at 1-855-665-TMCP.