Treatment for various stages of Pancreatic Cancer
Usually, the symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer aren’t visible until the later stages, and by that time, it becomes very tough to treat it. There are different methods for diagnosing Pancreatic cancer:
Physical examination The doctor will check for signs of jaundice in the eyes, nails, and stool samples. The doctor will check for a bloated stomach or abdomen. Blood Tests The doctor will check for increased levels of Tumor Markers of Bilirubin in the blood. Both are the signs of Pancreatic Cancer.
Imaging tests help identify the origin and location of the Pancreatic tumor. Pancreatic Cancer treatment can begin only when the stage and location are identified correctly.
- CT Scan CT Scans take snapshots of the inside of your body using X-rays. These X-rays scan your body from different angles; the pictures from all these angles are put together for a conclusive result.
- PET Scan(Positron Emission Tomography Scan) Trace amounts of radioactive substances are injected into your body to understand the situation better. It provides a detailed visual image of the tumor. This is usually done in combination with a CAT Scan or CT Scan.
- Ultrasound devices use sound waves to deliver an image of the internal organs or the affected areas. There are two types of Ultrasound devices- transabdominal Ultrasound device and endoscopic Ultrasound device.
- PTC Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography is used to analyze the bile ducts and if there exists any blockage.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): A bendable tube is inserted into the area under evaluation. This tube has an attached camera that can take pictures. It is inserted from the mouth and elongated into the small intestine, in proximity to the Pancreas.
Biopsy refers to tests on tissues removed from the Pancreas. A needle is injected (FNA-Fine Needle Aspiration) to remove cells from the Pancreas, to be tested in the lab. Molecular testing or molecular profiling may be carried out to understand the genetic roadmap of the mutated genes, their constituent proteins, and nutrients. There are many Pancreatic Cancer treatments available that can help survive this tragedy. Get involved with clinical trials, get the best Pancreatic Cancer treatment known to man, engage with your doctors, take your Pancreatic Cancer medication, and come out a hero. There are five standard treatment options available to any patient riddled with Pancreatic cancer:
- Surgery: If the Pancreatic Cancer hasn’t spread to vital organs or blood vessels, it can be taken out via Surgery. This may include the Whipple Procedure, total pancreatectomy, or distal pancreatectomy. If the tumor can’t be removed without causing destruction, palliative Surgery can be carried out to improve the life of the cancer patient. This may include the biliary bypass, endoscopic stent, or gastric bypass.
- Radiation Therapy: It is a common treatment method used to shrink and treat cancer. It is used to stunt the growth of Pancreatic Cancer. It can be carried out externally(by sending radiation into the body through an external machine) or internally(calculated amounts of radioactive materials are sent/injected inside the body).
- Chemotherapy: It uses chemicals to stunt the growth of cancer and to kill them. These chemicals can be taken orally such that they may travel through the entire body system to reach the cancerous area, or they may directly be afflicted via injections into the affected areas.
- Chemoradiation therapy: Combines Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted drugs are injected into the bloodstream; these attack only the cancerous cells and leave other cells alone.