Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Pancreatic cancer treatment options are important as approximately 43,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are anticipated to be diagnosed in 2010. A gland found near the stomach responsible for making insulin and other hormones, the pancreas helps the body use and store energy that is created from food. The pancreas also makes different types of enzymes that aid in the digestion of food.

Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is very hard to treat with currently available therapies. However, several pancreatic cancer treatment options can be used alone or in combination with one another to help control the cancer, including:

Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
The extent of surgery depends largely on the size of the tumor and where it is located on the pancreas.
A whipple procedure is used if the cancer is located on the widest part of the pancreas, also called the head. During this procedure, the surgeon removes this portion of the pancreas as well as part of the small intestine and stomach.
A distal pancreatectomy is performed when the tumor is located on the body and tail portions of the pancreas. The spleen is also removed during this type of surgery.
The final type of surgery that can be performed to treat pancreatic cancer is a total pancreatectomy, where the entire pancreas is removed as well as part of the stomach and small intestine, the spleen, the gallbladder and surrounding lymph nodes.
Radiation Therapy Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
This method, which uses high energy rays to kill the cancer cells, may be used after surgery to try to get rid of any cancerous cells that may remain in the area following surgery.
Chemotherapy Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
Several different forms of chemotherapy can be used pancreatic cancer treatment and is may be given alone, or following surgery and radiation therapy.

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