Pancreatic Cancer : Tests, Treatment and Prevention

Tests to detect the Pancreatic Cancer:

Some of the tests performed to detect the pancreatic cancer include

• Pancreatic biopsy
• CT scan of the abdomen
• MRI of the abdomen
• Endoscopic ultrasound
• ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
• CBC (Complete Blood Count)
• Liver function tests
• Serum bilirubin

Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer:

As pancreatic cancer is detected only in the advanced stages, very few cases of the pancreatic tumors can be removed by surgery.

The standard surgical procedure to remove pancreatic tumors is known as “pancreaticoduodenectomy”, which is also known as “Whipple procedure”.

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can be employed in the patients with tumors that cannot be removed surgically even though they have not spread outside the pancreas.

When the tumors get metastasized to other organs like liver, chemotherapy alone is employed. The main chemotherapeutic drug used in the treatment of the pancreatic cancer is ‘gemcitabine’ that helps around 25% of the patients.

The persons facing blockage in the biliary tubes that transport bile should be relieved of this obstruction by the application of the surgery or by placing biliary stent during ERCP.

The important thing in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer is to manage the pain and other symptoms. Palliative care tams and hospice can be employed to manage pain and other symptoms. These provide psychological support for patients and their families during the illness.

Prevention of the Pancreatic Cancer:

Pancreatic cancer can be prevented by

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat more amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Regular exercise

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