Pancreatic Cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms:
- Upper abdominal pain that may radiate to your back
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Blood clots
Surgery - Surgery may be an option if your pancreatic cancer is confined to the pancreas. Operations used in people with pancreatic cancer include:
- Surgery for tumors in the pancreatic head, you may consider an operation called a Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy).
- Surgery for tumors in the pancreatic tail and body is called distal pancreatectomy. Your surgeon may also remove your spleen. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding and infection.
Radiation Therapy - Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays, to destroy cancer cells.
In specialized medical centers, radiation therapy may be delivered during surgery (intraoperative radiation).
Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy uses drugs to help kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be injected into a vein or taken orally. In people with advanced pancreatic cancer, chemotherapy may be used alone or it may be combined with targeted drug therapy.
Targeted Therapy - Targeted therapy uses drugs that attack specific abnormalities within cancer cells. The targeted drug erlotinib (Tarceva) blocks chemicals that signal cancer cells to grow and divide.
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