Pancreatic Tumors

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

How Is Pancreatic Cancer Treated?

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Jaundice is one of the most common symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer, and occurs when the common bile duct is blocked owing to the pressure created on it. The tumor occurs on the head of the pancreas in sixty percent of the cases. This is one of the symptoms looked for before pancreatic cancer treatment can begin.

As per the Courvoisier's law, detection of jaundice and swollen gallbladder, without any pain is definite proof of pancreatic cancer having set in, and this distinction could be used to distinguish between pancreatic cancer and gallstones.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

The pancreatic cancer can be discerned when the liver function tests are conducted which may give evidence to bile duct obstruction, and are made apparent by the symptoms such the raised bilurubin, glutamyl transpeptidase and alkaline phosphate levels. Advanced imaging techniques such as ultrasound or abdominal CT may be used to identify pancreatic cancer tumors.

The detection can also be made possible by conducting the Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) wherein the tissue is extracted to assuage the level of advancement of disease, and then diagnosis can be facilitated. In case the disease is in the exocrine pancreas, it is seldom curable and the rate of survival in such case is less than 4%.

If one is afflicted with jaundice on a frequent basis, also known as obstructive jaundice then there is a definite chance of pancreatic cancer having set in and the common symptoms are yellowing of the skin and the eyes, itching and urine of dark color. If it is not treated, then it can lead to liver getting infected and development of deep abscesses in the liver, and can become fatal.

It is more a fortuitousness than anything else which facilitates the doctors detecting the setting in of pancreatic cancer. Though it traverses a four stage cycle, in the first stage itself it does not show any definite symptoms, nor is there a presence of a definite screening test which could isolate and point out about its occurrence.

Though jaundice is the most telling symptom, and a definite proof about occurrence of pancreatic cancer, even its detection makes it difficult to perform surgery in four out of the five cases. Technology is now however coming to the rescue of the disease and the advent of endoscopic ultrasound, is facilitating to an extent the detection of the pancreatic cancer. With the endoscopic ultrasound, it has now become much easier to study the tumor from a close distance, and also to extract tissue so that diagnosis of cancer can be facilitated. Earlier, CT scan was the tool to diagnose, but the CT scan was handicapped by the fact that it could detect the carcinoma at the time when cancer has made inroads in the adjoining tissues and organs, and at that point of time it was always difficult to operate on the tumor. However, the endoscopic ultrasound has advanced the frontiers of battle a one notch further, and has increased the rate of survival among the patients.

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