Pancreatic cancer treatment has many faces, depending on stages of cancer as well as patient’s condition. Treatment for pancreatic cancer may take the form of:
• Pancreatic cancer surgery. This includes so-called Whipple procedure (removal of the head of one’s pancreas union distal pancreatectomy (the tail and body of one’s pancreas are resected union and total pancreatectomy (total removal of one’s pancreas). All of these procedures are quite long and require a good overall state of health. Additionally, pancreatic cancer surgery is usually not available in later stages of pancreatic cancer, from stage 3 pancreatic cancer up.
• Chemotherapy treatment – chemotherapy involves heavy doses of drugs which aim at killing possibly high numbers of cancer cells. Chemotherapy treatment is conducted in sessions and may take weeks or even months to complete.
• Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy utilizes radiation for the purpose of destroying the pancreatic cancer cells. There are two types of radiotherapy – external radiation therapy (radiation is emitted by a machine) and internal radiation therapy (radioactive elements are injected or swallowed as a pill).
• Targeted therapy – Targeted therapy is a new generation of treatment for pancreatic cancer. With targeted therapy, your oncologist and the medical team try to destroy cancer cells by disrupting their biology, without harming other cells.