Pancreatic Cancer : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 

 What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is typically not found till advanced stages as a result of it's onerous to detect. Signs of pancreatic cancer embrace jaundice and weight loss. Risk factors include having polygenic disorder and exposure to bound chemicals. Specific treatment depends on the scale and placement of the tumor, and whether or not or not it unfolds to different areas of the body.

Carcinoma begins once abnormal cells within the exocrine gland grow and divide out of management and kind of a tumor.

The pancreas may be a gland set deep in the abdomen, between the abdomen and therefore the spine. It makes enzymes that facilitate digestion and hormones that manage blood-sugar levels.


What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic Cancer



Organs, just like the pancreas, are created from cells. Normally, cells divide to make new cells because the body wants them. Once cells get previous, they die, and new cells take their place.

typically this method breaks. New cells form when the body doesn't like them, or old cells don't die. the additional cells could form a mass of tissue referred to as a tumor.

Some tumors are benign. This suggests they're abnormal however cannot invade different elements of the body.

A malignance is termed cancer. The cells grow out of management and may unfold to different tissues and organs.

Even once the cancer spreads to other areas of the body, it's still called carcinoma if that's wherever it started. carcinoma typically spreads to the liver, abdominal wall, lungs, bones and/or body fluid nodes.

  1. Endocrine system

Medical terms

  • Pancreatic cancer begins within the tissues of your exocrine gland — AN organ in your abdomen that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and produces hormones that facilitate managing your blood sugar. Many kinds of growths can occur in the pancreas, together with cancerous and noncancerous tumors. The foremost common sort of cancer that forms in the pancreas begins in the cells that line the ducts that carry biological process enzymes out of the pancreas (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma). Carcinoma is rarely detected at its early stages once it's most curable. This is often as a result of it often not causing symptoms till once it unfolds to different organs. Carcinoma treatment choices are chosen to support the extent of the cancer. choices might embody surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a mix of these. 

  • symptoms Symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often similar to symptoms of less serious conditions making it difficult for people to know the right time to see a doctor Many people wait too long before seeing a doctor because they confuse their symptoms with other common health conditions or stress-related issues It is important for people to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer so that they can get diagnosed early when treatment is likely to be more effective The following are some common signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

  • Pancreatic cancer symptoms are vague and can be attributed to other illnesses It is therefore best to visit the doctor if you have any of the following early signs or symptoms Common pancreatic cancer symptoms include: Sudden unexplained weight loss; A feeling of fullness after eating only a small amount; Extreme fatigue; Nausea and vomiting with no identifiable cause; Unintentional weight loss; Lower abdominal pain that spreads to your back; and/or Pain while eating or practicing deep breathing.

Types of Pancreatic Cancer

Exocrine cancers are by far the most common type of pancreatic cancer. If you are told you have pancreatic cancer, it is most likely  exocrine pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma: About 95% of cancers of the exocrine pancreas are adenocarcinomas. These cancers usually start in the ducts of the pancreas. Less commonly, they develop from  cells that produce pancreatic enzymes, in which case they are called acinar cell carcinomas. 

Less common types of exocrine cancer: Other, less common secretory organ cancers embody adenosquamous carcinomas, epithelial cell carcinomas, ring cell carcinomas, undifferentiated  carcinomas, and undifferentiated carcinomas with large cells. 

Ampullary cancer (carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater): This cancer starts within the ampulla of Vater, that is wherever the common {bile duct|duct|epithelial duct|canal|channel} and epithelial duct move and empty into the tiny intestine. body part cancers aren’t technically exocrine gland cancers, however they're enclosed here as a result of they are treated the same. body part cancers usually block the bile duct whereas they're still small and haven't deployed far. This blockage causes bile to make up in the body, which results in yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Thanks to this, these cancers are typically found before most pancreatic cancers, and that they usually have a better prognosis (outlook). 

Symptoms Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms till it reaches advanced stages. As a result, there usually aren’t any early signs of carcinoma. Even at additional advanced stages, a number of the foremost common exocrine gland cancer symptoms may be subtle. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer often don't occur until the malady is advanced. they will include:

  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back

  • Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss

  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

  • Light-colored stools

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Itchy skin

  • New diagnosis of diabetes or existing diabetes that's becoming more difficult to control

  • Blood clots

  • Fatigue

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you expertise any unexplained symptoms that worry you. several alternative conditions will cause these symptoms, so your doctor could check for these conditions also as for exocrine gland cancer. 

Causes Pancreatic cancer

Changes in your DNA cause cancer. These may be transmitted from your elders or can arise over time. The changes that arise over time can happen as a result of you being exposed to one harmful thing. they will conjointly happen haphazardly. duct gland cancer’s precise causes aren't well understood. 10% of carcinomas are thought to be familial or hereditary. Most pancreatic cancer happens randomly or is caused by things equivalent to smoking, blubber and age. If you're a first-degree relative of somebody diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you'll have a magnified risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Your friend with carcinoma is powerfully suggested to endure genetic testing for transmitted mutations. Negative results usually mean you are not compelled to get genetic testing. If the results are positive, unknown or if you have got many shut relations with cancer, the Carcinoma Action Network recommends you consult a genetic counselor to see if you ought to get genetic testing for inherited cancer risk and if you should discuss choices for monitoring. It's not clear what causes duct gland cancer. Doctors have known some factors which will increase the chance of this type of cancer, together with smoking and having sure transmitted sequence mutations.

Understanding your pancreas

Your exocrine gland is six inches (15 centimeters) long and appears one thing be a pear lying on its side. It releases (secretes) hormones, as well as insulin, to assist your organic process sugar within the foods you eat. And it produces organic process juices to help your body digest food and absorb nutrients.

How pancreatic cancer forms

Pancreatic willcer happens once cells in your exocrine gland develop changes (mutations) within their DNA. A cell' DNA contains the directions that tell a cell what to do. These mutations tell the cells to grow uncontrollably and to continue living once traditional cells would die. These accumulating cells can type a tumor. Once left untreated, the carcinoma cells can unfold to close organs and blood vessels and to distant components of the body. Most duct gland cancer begins in the cells that line the ducts of the pancreas. This kind of cancer is termed pancreatic glandular carcinoma or pancreatic exocrine willcer. Less frequently, cancer can type within the hormone-producing cells or the system cells of the pancreas. These kinds of cancer are referred to as duct gland neuroendocrine tumors, island cell tumors or pancreatic endocrine cancer.

Risk factors Pancreatic cancer

Factors that may increase your risk of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

  • Family history of sequencetic syndromes which will increase cancer risk, together with a BRCA2 gene mutation, kill syndrome and familial atypical mole-malignant malignant melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome

  • Family history of pancreatic cancer

  • Obesity

  • Older age, as most people are diagnosed after age 65

A large study demonstrated that the combination of smoking, long-standing diabetes and a poor diet increases the risk of pancreatic cancer beyond the risk of any one of these factors alone.

Complications Pancreatic Cancer

As pancreatic cancer progresses, it can cause complications such as:

  • Weight loss. A number of things might cause weight loss in folks with duct gland cancer. Weight loss might happen because cancer consumes the body' energy. Nausea and forcing out caused by cancer treatments or a growth pressing on your abdomen may create it troublesome to eat. Or your body may have issues processing nutrients from food as a result of your exocrine gland not creating enough organic process juices. 

  • Jaundice. Pancreatic cancer that blocks the liver' digestive juice duct|duct|epithelial duct|canal|channel} will cause jaundice. Signs embrace yellow skin and eyes, dark-colored urine, and pale-colored stools. Jaundice typically happens while not abdominal pain. Your doctor might suggest that a plastic or metal tube (stent) be placed within the bile duct to carry it open. This is often done with the assistance of a procedure referred to as scrutiny retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Throughout ERCP a medical instrument is passed down your throat, through your abdomen and into the higher part of your small intestine. A dye is then injected into the exocrine gland and bile ducts through a little hollow tube (catheter) that's more responsible for the endoscope. Finally, pictures are taken of the ducts. 

  • Pain. A growing tumor might persist nerves in your abdomen, inflicting pain that may become severe. Pain medications can make you feel a lot more comfortable. Treatments, resembling radiation and chemotherapy, might facilitate slow tumor growth and supply some pain relief. In severe cases, your doctor might advocate a procedure to inject alcohol into the nerves that manage pain in your abdomen (celiac complex body part block). This procedure stops the nerves from causing pain signals to your brain. 

  • Bowel obstruction. Pancreatic cancer that grows into or presses on the primary part of the tiny intestine (duodenum) will block the flow of digestible food from your abdomen into your intestines. Your doctor might suggest that a tube (stent) be placed in your gut to carry it open. In some situations, it'd facilitate surgery to position a brief feeding tube or to connect your stomach to a lower purpose in your intestines that isn't blocked by cancer. 

Prevention Pancreatic Cancer

You may reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer if you:

  • Stop smoking. If you smoke, attempt to stop. seek advice from your doctor regarding methods to assist you stop, together with support groups, medications and vasoconstrictive replacement therapy. If you don't smoke, don't start. 

  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you're at a healthy weight, work to take care of it. If you wish to lose weight, aim for a slow, steady weight loss — one to two pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week. mix daily exercise with a diet wealthy in vegetables, fruit and whole grains with smaller parts to assist you lose weight. 

  • Choose a healthy diet. A diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains could facilitate a scale back your risk of cancer. take into account meeting with a genetic counselor if you've got a case history of carcinoma. He or she will review your family health history with you and confirm whether or not you would possibly enjoy a genetic take a look at to grasp your risk of duct gland cancer or different cancers. 

Can pancreatic cancer spread during chemo?

In the early stages of pancreatic cancer called adenocarcinoma there are only a few cells that have not yet divided into benign and malignant forms These cancerous cells cannot spread on their own However once they do divide and increase in number they can travel through the bloodstream to other organs such as the liver or lungs If a tumor has invaded surrounding tissue however; it could cause damage to veins or lymph vessels which allows cancer cells to enter the bloodstream.

What should you not do during chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is designed to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells but it can also damage the healthy cells that make up your body's tissues As you receive chemotherapy drugs in the form of an intravenous infusion or pills by mouth it's important to take steps to protect your body from their harmful effects While these measures aren't always easy staying away from things that may increase your risk for drug-related side effects is a good place to start.

How can you tell if chemo is working?

It’s common for cancer patients to experience hair loss and fatigue as well as a weakened immune system These are all expected side effects of chemotherapy If you're wondering how chemo is helping your body fight the cancer the best way to tell if it's working is to see your doctor or oncologist Your prognosis will be based on your medical records lab results and physical exam — not your response to the treatment itself.

How many days after chemo do you feel better?

There is no way to predict how you'll feel from one cycle of chemotherapy to the next because so many factors affect your individual experience These include the number and type of drugs used in your treatment plan; whether you're getting just a few or all of the drugs that are offered as part of your specific protocol (schedule); whether your cancer cells respond well to treatment; what other medical conditions you might have besides cancer; and how strong a support system you have around you.

Why do doctors stop chemotherapy?

The main reason for discontinuing chemotherapy treatment is poor response to the therapy Some cancers have such a high propensity for growth that they will continue to grow despite the presence of chemotherapy Treatment is not considered successful in patients whose tumors continue growing at one centimeter per week or greater and those who experience unwanted side effects including nausea vomiting and hair loss In some cases when the cancer does respond but then grows more aggressively than before treatment began doctors may decide it's best to discontinue treatment and begin palliative care instead This approach provides relief from symptoms without attempting to eradicate the cancer; however patients can sometimes achieve remission.

Diagnosis Pancreatic cancer

It’s tough to see carcinoma within the early stages. This is often as a result of health care suppliers unable to feel the duct gland in an exceedingly routine exam. If your supplier suspects that you simply may have exocrine gland cancer, they'll order imaging tests to require footage of the inner organs. AN examination ultrasound may also be done. AN endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) may be a skinny tube with a camera at the tip that's gone through the mouth and into the abdomen. The ultrasound probe at the top of the medical instrument permits imaging of the pancreas through the stomach wall. If necessary, an ultrasound-guided diagnostic assay (tissue sample) from the duct gland will be obtained throughout the procedure. A biopsy will notice a substance referred to as a neoplasm marker. For carcinoma, high levels of sugar matter (CA) 19-9 — a sort of supermolecule discharged by exocrine gland cancer cells — may indicate a tumor. Everybody who is freshly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer ought to check with their doctor concerning doing direction and testing to visualize if there's a hereditary reason they developed pancreatic cancer. This is often supported by recommendations from 2 of the most important cancer organizations, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and also the Yank Society of Clinical medicine (ASCO). If your doctor suspects exocrine gland cancer, he or she could have you ever endure one or a lot of of the subsequent tests:

  • Imaging tests that create pictures of your internal organs. These tests facilitate your doctors visualizing your internal organs, together with the pancreas. Techniques accustomed to diagnosing carcinoma embrace ultrasound, computed axial tomography (CT) scans, resonance imaging (MRI) and, sometimes, antielectron emission tomography (PET) scans

  • Using a scope to create ultrasound pictures of your pancreas. An examination ultrasound (EUS) uses an associated ultrasound device to create pictures of your exocrine gland from within your abdomen. The device is more established as a thin, versatile tube (endoscope) down your gullet and into your abdomen so as to get the images. 

  • Removing a tissue sample for testing (biopsy). A diagnostic test could be a procedure to get rid of a little sample of tissue for examination underneath a microscope. Most frequently the tissue is collected throughout the EUS by passing special tools through the endoscope. Less often, a sample of tissue is collected from the exocrine gland by inserting a needle through your skin and into your pancreas (fine-needle aspiration)

  • Blood test. Your doctor may take a look at your blood for specific proteins (tumor markers) shed by carcinoma cells. One growth marker test utilized in duct gland cancer is termed CA19-9. it's going to be useful in understanding however the cancer responds to treatment. However the test isn't continually reliable as a result of some individuals with pancreatic cancer not having elevated CA19-9 levels, making the test less helpful. If your doctor confirms an identification of pancreatic cancer, he or she tries to work out the extent (stage) of the cancer.

  • mistreatment info from staging tests, your doctor assigns your pancreatic cancer a stage that helps determine what treatments are possible to teach you. The stages of carcinoma are indicated by Roman numerals starting from zero to IV. Rock bottom stages indicate that the cancer is confined to the pancreas. By stage IV, the cancer has developed into alternative elements of the body. The cancer staging system continues to evolve and is turning into a lot of advances as doctors improve cancer identification and treatment. Don't hesitate to raise your doctor regarding his or her expertise with diagnosing duct gland cancer. If you have got any doubts, get a second opinion. 

Treatment Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer treatment depends on the stage of the unwellness and therefore the patient’s general health. Patients might get customary (approved) treatments or participate in clinical trials. customary treatments are surgery, therapy and radiation. Clinical trials study new treatments. The carcinoma Action Network powerfully recommends clinical trials at designation and through each treatment decision. Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on the stage and placement of the cancer additionally as on your overall health and private preferences. For many people, the primary goal of pancreatic cancer treatment is to eliminate the cancer, once possible. Once that isn't an associate degree option, the main target is also on raising your quality of life and limiting the cancer from growing or inflicting additional harm. Treatment might embody surgery, radiation, therapy or a mix of these. Once carcinoma is advanced and these treatments aren't probably to supply a benefit, your doctor can target symptom relief (palliative care) to stay as comfy as possible for as long as possible.

Surgery

Advanced pancreatic cancer surgeries offer hope.

Click here for associate degree infographic to find out a lot of Operations utilized in individuals with carcinoma include:

  • Surgery for tumors in the pancreatic head. If your cancer is found within the head of the pancreas, you'll think about AN operation known as a Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy). The Whipple procedure could be a technically troublesome operation to get rid of the top of the pancreas, the primary a part of the little gut (duodenum), the gallbladder, part of the epithelial duct and near  bodily fluid nodes. In some situations, part of the abdomen and colon is also removed as well. Your medico reconnects the remaining elements of your pancreas, stomach and intestines to permit you to digest food. 

  • Surgery for tumors in the pancreatic body and tail. Surgery to get rid of the left aspect (body and tail) of the duct gland is termed distal pancreatectomy. Your medico may ought to remove your spleen. 

  • Surgery to remove the entire pancreas. In some people, the entire pancreas may need to be removed. This is called total pancreatectomy. You can live relatively normally without a pancreas but do need lifelong insulin and enzyme replacement.

  • Surgery for tumors affecting nearby blood vessels. Many folks with advanced carcinoma aren't thought of eligible for the Whipple procedure or alternative exocrine gland surgeries if their tumors involve near  blood vessels. At extremely specialized and knowledgeable medical centers, surgeons might provide pancreatic surgery operations that embrace removing and reconstructing affected blood vessels. Every of those surgeries carries the chance of harm and infection. Once surgery some people experience nausea and regurgitation if the abdomen has problem removal (delayed stomach emptying). Expect a protracted recovery after any of these procedures. You'll pay many days within the hospital then recover for several weeks at home. intensive analysis shows carcinoma surgery tends to cause fewer complications once done by extremely knowledgeable surgeons at centers that do several of those operations. Don't hesitate to raise your surgeon's and hospital expertise with pancreatic cancer surgery. If you have got any doubts, get a second opinion. 

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses medicine to assist in killing cancer cells. These drugs are injected into a vein or taken orally. you will receive one chemotherapy drug or a mix of them. therapy may be combined with therapy (chemoradiation). Chemoradiation is usually accustomed to treat cancer that hasn't deployed on the far side of the duct gland to different organs. At specialized medical centers, this mixture is also used before surgery to help shrink the tumor. Typically it's used when surgery to scale back the chance that carcinoma may recur. In folks with advanced pancreatic cancer and cancer that has spread to different elements of the body, therapy is also accustomed to managing cancer growth, relieving symptoms and prolong survival.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, cherishing those made up of X-rays and protons, to destroy cancer cells. you'll receive radiation treatments before or once cancer surgery, usually together with therapy. Or your doctor may suggest a mix of radiation and chemotherapy treatments when your cancer can't be treated surgically. Therapy sometimes comes from a machine that moves around you, directing radiation to specific points on your body (external beam radiation). In specialized medical centers, radiation therapy is also delivered throughout surgery (intraoperative radiation). ancient radiation therapy uses X-rays to treat cancer, but a more recent type of radiation victimization nucleons is {offered} at some medical centers. In certain situations, proton medical aid is wont to treat carcinoma and it's going to offer fewer side effects compared with normal radiation therapy.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are studies to check new treatments, reminiscent of general therapy, and new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy. If the treatment being studied proves to be safer and simpler than current treatments, it will become the new commonplace of care. Clinical trials for carcinoma may provide you with an opportunity to undertake new targeted therapy, therapy drugs, therapy treatments or vaccines. Clinical trials can't guarantee a cure, and that they may need serious or sudden facet effects. On the opposite hand, cancer clinical trials are closely monitored to confirm they're conducted as safely as possible. and that they provide access to treatments that wouldn't preferably be on the market to you. see your doctor concerning what clinical trials may well be applicable for you.

  1. Pancreas transplant

Supportive (palliative) care

Palliative care is specialized medical aid that focuses on providing relief from pain and different symptoms of a significant illness. Palliative care isn't as constant as hospice care or end-of-life care. Palliative care is provided by groups of doctors, nurses, social employees and other specially trained professionals. These teams aim to boost the standard of life for individuals with cancer and their families. Palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your other doctors to supply an additional layer of support that enhances your in progress medical care. It' usually used while undergoing aggressive treatments, such as surgery, therapy and radiation therapy. Once palliative care is employed together with different applicable treatments — even before long once the designation — individuals with cancer might feel higher and live longer. 

More Information

  • Chemotherapy

  • Integrative medicine

  • Palliative care

  • Proton therapy

  • Radiation therapy

  • Whipple procedure

  • Infographic: Pancreatic Cancer: Minimally Invasive Surgery

  • Infographic: Pancreatic Cancers-Whipple

Alternative medicine

Some integrative and medicine approaches could facilitate signs and symptoms you expertise because of your cancer or cancer treatments.

Treatments to help you cope with distress

People with willcer of expertise distress. Some analysis suggests distress is more common in individuals with carcinoma than it's in people with different varieties of cancer. If you're distressed, you will have issues sleeping and end up perpetually brooding about your cancer. you will feel angry or sad. Discuss your feelings along with your doctor. Specialists can assist you type through your feelings and help you devise methods for coping. In some cases, medications may help. Integrative medication and various therapies may additionally help you manage distress. Examples include:

  • Acupuncture

  • Art therapy

  • Exercise

  • Massage therapy

  • Meditation

  • Music therapy

  • Relaxation exercises

  • Spirituality

Talk with your doctor if you're interested in these treatment options.

Coping and support

Learning you've got a grave unwellness is often devastating. a number of the subsequent suggestions could help:

  • Learn what you need to know about your cancer. Learn enough concerning your cancer to assist you create selections about your care. raise your doctor about the main points of your cancer and your treatment options. raise about sure sources of additional information. If you're doing all of your own research, smart places to begin embrace the National Cancer Institute and also the carcinoma Action Network. 

  • Assemble a support system. Ask your friends and family to make a support network for you. they'll feel facilitateless and unsure about your diagnosis. serving you with straightforward tasks might offer them comfort. And you would possibly notice relief in not having to stress regarding certain tasks. consider belongings you wish to help with, corresponding to meal preparation or aiming for appointments. 

  • Find someone to talk with. Although friends and family are often your best allies, in some cases they need problems handling the shock of your diagnosis. In these cases, talking with a counselor, medical social worker, or a pastoral or spiritual counselor can be helpful. raise your doctor for a referral. 

  • Connect with other cancer survivors. You may find comfort in talking with different cancer survivors. Contact your native chapter of the yank Cancer Society to seek out cancer support teams in your area. The carcinoma Action Network can connect you with a pancreatic cancer survivor who can offer support by phone or email. 

  • Consider hospice. Hospice care provides comfort and support to terminally unwell individuals and their honeys. It permits family and friends — with the help of nurses, social staff and trained volunteers — to worry for and luxury a loved one reception or in an exceedingly hospice residence. Hospice care additionally provides emotional, social and religious support for folks that are ill and people nearest to them. 

Preparing for your appointment

Start by creating a meeting along with your doctor if you have got any signs or symptoms that worry you. He or she might advocate tests and procedures to research your signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have exocrine gland cancer, he or she might refer you to:

  • A doctor who diagnoses and treats digestive conditions (gastroenterologist)

  • A doctor who treats cancer (oncologist)

  • A doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer (radiation oncologist)

  • A surgeon who specializes in operations involving the pancreas

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions, such as restricting your diet.

  • List your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason you scheduled the appointment.

  • List key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors.

  • List all of your medications, vitamins and supplements, including doses.

  • Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • Do I have pancreatic cancer?

  • What is the stage of my cancer?

  • Will I need additional tests?

  • Can my cancer be cured?

  • What are my treatment options?

  • Can any treatment help me live longer?

  • What are the potential risks of each treatment?

  • Is there one treatment you think is best for me?

  • What advice would you give a friend or a family member in my situation?

  • What is your expertise with carcinoma designation and treatment? What percentage of surgical procedures for this sort of cancer are done annually at this medical center?

  • I'm experiencing these signs and symptoms. What can be done to help me feel more comfortable?

  • What clinical trials are available for pancreatic cancer? Am I eligible for any?

  • Am I eligible for molecular profiling of my cancer?

  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?

  • How severe are your symptoms? Are they occasional or continuous?

  • Does anything improve or worsen your symptoms?

General summary

  1. Chemotherapy is one of the treatments used for pancreatic cancer While it aims to destroy cancer cells chemotherapy also attacks healthy cells leading to some of its toxic side effects While not all patients will experience these side effects and their severity vary from person to person it's important to be aware of what can happen so that you can take steps to avoid them or prepare yourself for them if needed.

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