It is very important for you to understand ways in which pancreatic cancer is grouped to help you know about the treatment options available. Pancreas is an organ that is located at the abdomen and its main function is to assist in the digestion of fats. It is a deadly form of cancer because its symptoms are mostly detected in the later stages of development. At this stage the cancer cells have spread into other vital organs in the body. Medically it is known as metastasis and the survival rates at this stage is very low . The symptoms for pancreatic cancers include jaundice, fatigue, and weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea and enlarged bladder.
Stages of Cancer
During your physical examination and testing, your doctor will be able to confirm the existence of pancreatic cancer and use the TNM (tumor, node, and metastasis) staging methods to determine the size of the tumor and the extent of the spread. The stages are outlined below.
Stage I. The cancer cells are still contained in the pancreas.
Stage II. The cancer cells are spreading to the surrounding organs such as the lymph nodes. The survival rate is at 6percent.
Stage III. The cancer has increased in growth and spread to the blood vessels surrounding the pancreas. The survival rates has reduced to 2 percent showing that of all the patients diagnosed with this disease at this stage only 2 percent will be alive after 5 years from the time of diagnosis.
Stage IV. At this stage the cancer has metastasized, meaning it has spread so deeper into other vessels such as the lungs and liver and according to the American Cancer Society, the survival rate is 1percent.
After this discovery the doctor will now commence the appropriate treatment that will suit the stage of the cancer. We have different type of treatments for metastatic pancreatic cancer and they are as follows:
Surgery: At the advance stage, the surgery procedure done will include the complete removal of the pancreas, part of the small intestine, bile duct and gall bladder. This is to prevent the tumors from spreading further.
Radiotherapy: Is done using a radiation device that destroys the cancer cells, during the advance stages it is usually combined with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy: Your doctor will use medication to help fight the cancer cells and prevent them from growing. In treating metastatic pancreatic cancer it is combined with drug therapy which is the administration of certain drugs which will target the cancer cells and destroy them.
Posted by on Jun.04, 2011, under information