Pancreatic cancer solutions: Treatment by stages
If you are struggling with any cancer, your biggest interest would be where the right solution would come from. This is what AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury wants to give to you. We appreciate that there are very many types of cancers. But for this purpose, we want to focus on pancreatic cancer solutions. This will interest you and we urge to stay with us and feel free to ask any question you have as we progress into the discussion. The right treatment for pancreatic cancer will depend on how far the disease has spread, or by its stage. It is easy to understand the stages of pancreatic cancer. But what is difficult is attempting to stage pancreatic cancer without conducting some surgery. Most specialists choose pancreatic cancer treatments based on imaging studies, surgical findings, and the individual’s general state health and stability.
Pancreatic cancer solutions: Stages of pancreatic cancer
Stage is a descriptive term in cancer treatment to ascertain the extent of the cancer’s spread. The stages of pancreatic cancer are used to guide treatment and to classify patients for clinical trials. The stages of pancreatic cancer are:
Stage 0: No spread. Pancreatic cancer is limited to a single layer of cells in the pancreas. The pancreatic cancer is not visible on imaging tests or even to the naked eye.
Stage 1: Local growth. Pancreatic cancer is limited to the pancreas, but has grown to less than 2 centimeters across (stage IA) or greater than 2 centimeters (stage IB).
Stage 2: Local spread. Pancreatic cancer has grown outside the pancreas, or has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 3: Wider spread. The tumor has expanded into nearby major blood vessels or nerves but has not metastasized.
Stage 4: Confirmed spread. Pancreatic cancer has spread to most body organs.
Determining pancreatic cancer’s stage is often tricky. Imaging tests like CT scans and ultrasound provide some information, but knowing exactly how far pancreatic cancer has spread usually requires surgery.
Since surgery has risks, doctors first determine whether pancreatic cancer appears to be removable by surgery (resectable). Pancreatic cancer is then described as follows:
Resectable: On imaging tests, pancreatic cancer hasn’t spread much and is still within reach to be removed surgically. Studies has established that about 10% of pancreatic cancers are resectable when first diagnosed.
Locally advanced (unresectable): Pancreatic cancer has grown and invaded major blood vessels on imaging tests. At this level, it isn’t easy to surgically remove the tumor.
Metastatic: Pancreatic cancer has clearly spread to other organs that no surgery can help in removing the cancer.
If pancreatic cancer is resectable, surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiation or both may extend survival.
Pancreatic cancer solutions: Palliative treatment for pancreatic cancer
As pancreatic cancer progresses, the No. 1 priority of treatment will shift from extending life to alleviating symptoms, especially pain. Numerous treatments can help protect against the discomfort from advanced pancreatic cancer:
- Procedures like bile duct stents can relieve jaundice, thus reducing itching and loss of appetite associated with bile obstruction.
- Opioid analgesics can help relieve pain.
- Antidepressants and counseling can help treat depression common in advanced pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer solutions: Treatment done by Stages