5. Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer
Chemotherapy can be beneficial for exocrine pancreatic cancer. Used before surgery, it can help to shrink tumors before removing them. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation together can kill any remaining tumor cells to prevent the return of the cancer. If surgery is not an option, chemotherapy may be used in place of an operation. Chemotherapy is most beneficial when two or more chemo drugs are given together.
4. Medications for Pancreatic Cancer
Chemotherapy can be useful for the treatment of exocrine cancers. But other medications are used to treat endocrine pancreatic cancers that can’t be surgically removed. Some of these drugs resemble a hormone called somatostatin. They prevent the islet cell tumors from releasing hormones. This is helpful for relieving pain and other cancer symptoms. Chemotherapy for neuroendocrine tumors can include the use of targeted drugs. These drugs attack tumor cells in specific ways to prevent their growth. Diazoxide blocks the release of insulin from the pancreas and can be helpful in neuroendocrine cancer. Proton pump inhibitors can prevent painful stomach ulcers in certain pancreatic cancer patients.
3. Prognosis for Pancreatic Cancer
The survival rates for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are sadly discouraging. This is because it is often detected only after spreading to other parts of the body. The one-year survival rate is 20%, and the five-year survival rate is a disappointing 7%. In general, the smaller the tumors, the greater the chance of survival.Related: 20 Things Science Has Linked to Cancer
2. Prevention of Pancreatic Cancer
While pancreatic cancer is not entirely preventable, there are certain risk factors that you can avoid. Give yourself the best chance for a long and healthy life by not smoking. Keep yourself at a healthy weight. Give your body plenty of exercise. Fuel your body with nutritious whole foods, including leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Maintain a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9. Avoid excessive use of alcohol, as alcohol may contribute to cancer risk or disease resulting in cancer. Avoid exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in your workplace.
1. Research into Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers are investigating causes of, diagnosis of, and treatment for pancreatic cancer. Certain genes such as BRCA2 and p16 are indicators of risk for developing pancreatic cancer. The Whipple procedure to remove pancreatic cancer is a long and difficult surgery. Researchers are investigating laparoscopic surgeries to remove the tumors. This would result in a quicker patient recovery time. Targeted therapies are those that attack only specific sites on cancer tumors. These therapies tend to have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. Immune therapy is another type of therapy. Immunotherapy boosts a patient’s immune system to enable them better to fight off the cancer cells.Related: 7 Alarm Signals About The Health of Your Pancreas