Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

Pancreatic cancer is a disease that starts in the glands in the pancreas. These glands make hormones and digestive juices that help your body use and store energy from food. They also produce enzymes that break down proteins and fats in your intestines.

Your doctor can diagnose pancreatic cancer by looking at your health history, performing a physical exam and doing other tests. If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, a biopsy or tissue sample can help find out what type and stage it is.

Treatments for pancreatic cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Targeted therapies attack the tumor by targeting specific cells with drugs or other substances. They can shrink the tumor, reduce pain or cause it to stop growing.

The treatment that is best for you depends on the stage and type of your pancreatic cancer, your overall health, and your response to previous treatments. We can work together to develop a personalized plan that targets your condition.

Surgical removal of the pancreas (pancreatectomy) is often the most effective way to treat pancreatic cancer. This procedure removes all or part of the pancreas and nearby organs, including the bile duct, the gallbladder and nearby lymph nodes. The procedure is usually done laparoscopically, which means that small incisions are used instead of larger ones.

Radiation therapy involves using high-energy X-rays to kill the cancer cells in the pancreas. It can be a good option for patients who cannot have surgery or do not want to take medicine. This type of therapy can shrink the tumor and make it easier for the surgeon to remove it.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells that may have escaped the surgery. It is usually given in a cycle of several sessions every few weeks, depending on the type and stage of your cancer.

For some people, a combination of chemotherapy and radiation is the best treatment. This type of treatment can shrink the tumor and improve your quality of life. It may also reduce your chance of the cancer coming back.

Clinical trials offer a chance to test new ways to fight pancreatic cancer. These trials may help people with different types of pancreatic cancer receive better care and have a higher chance of being cured.

A person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer can be increased by a number of factors, such as age, smoking, certain inherited genes and having a family history of the disease. Other things, such as a high-fat diet or chemical exposure from work or hobbies, can also increase the risk of developing the disease.

You can lower your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. Eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and lean meats is also helpful.

Avoiding alcohol can reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Alcohol can irritate the lining of your stomach and other areas of your digestive tract, making it more likely that you will get pancreatic cancer.

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