HOW IS THE TREATMENT PLANNED?
Your treatment will be planned by a group of specialists who will meet to discuss and agree upon the best possible treatment plan for you.
This multidisciplinary team will include:
- A surgeon (who specializes in your type of cancer)
- A medical oncologist
- A radiotherapy oncologist
- Radiologists who help analyze x-rays and scans.
- Pathologists who advise on the type and extent of the cancer.
Other health professionals may be included, such as a palliative care doctor (who is specialized in controlling symptoms), a nutritionist, a physical therapist, and occupational therapists, and a psychologist.
TREATMENT OF EARLY-STAGE PANCREATIC CANCER
The most effective treatment for early-stage pancreatic cancer is surgery to remove part or all of the pancreas. This may cure the cancer in some people, though it is a major operation. It is only suitable for patients who are in good enough physical condition and who have small tumors that have not spread.
Chemotherapy can be used after surgery to attempt to lower the chances of the cancer returning.
TREATMENT OF LOCALLY ADVANCED PANCREATIC CANCER
Chemotherapy can be used to control the cancer for some time and to relieve symptoms. Sometimes, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are given together.
If the cancer is blocking the bile duct of the intestine, surgery or stent placement may be performed to relive the symptoms.
Very occasionally it is possible to operate to try to eliminate stage-3 cancers. Decisions on whether or not to perform this procedure depends on how the patient has responded to treatment. However, this procedure is not commonly used.
TREATMENT OF METASTATIC PANCREATIC CANCER
One of the primary aims of treatment is to reduce the symptoms so you can feel as good as possible.
Chemotherapy may be administered to reduce the cancer and relieve symptoms. It can also help some people live longer. Stents can be used to relieve jaundice or other symptoms caused by blockage of the bile duct or the intestine.
Radiotherapy, painkillers, or nerve blocks may be used to control the pain.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF THE TREATMENT
You may feel afraid of cancer treatment due to the side effects it can have. Although treatments for esophageal cancer can produce adverse effects, you will be given help to control them.
The treatment can be given for various reasons and the possible benefits vary from person to person and from situation to situation. Your doctor can tell you whether the primary aim of the treatment is to cure the cancer, control it for some time, or reduce the symptoms and improve quality of life. They can also tell you about the possible side effects of the treatment and whether these are temporary or permanent.