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Doctor insights on: How Fast Does Pancreatic Cancer Spread

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From initial onset of symptoms, how fast does pancreatic cancer tend to spread and kill in a patient when diagnosed (i know if varies, but generally)?

From initial onset of symptoms, how fast does pancreatic cancer tend to spread and kill in a patient when diagnosed (i know if varies, but generally)?

See below: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis: for all stages combined, the 1- and 5-year relative survival rates are 25% and 6%, respectively. For local disease the 5-year survival is approximately 20% while the median survival for locally advanced and for metastatic disease, is 10 and 6 months. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,344 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Why don't I ever see people wearing shirts that spread awareness of pancreatic cancer?

Why don't I ever see people wearing shirts that spread awareness of pancreatic cancer?

No good screen: Forgive me if I sound jaded, but this is reality. Money drives even good causes. There's no good way to screen for pancreatic cancer that makes money for any medical technology. The expensive "breast cancer awareness" campaigns appears to me to be paid for mostly by the mammogram machine industry. It's okay with me since it helps de-stigmatize and de-magic the illness for ordinary folks. ...Read more

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How does metastasis spread from the pancreas if somebody has pancreatic cancer?

How does metastasis spread from the pancreas if somebody has pancreatic cancer?

Early: Unfortunately, it appears that pancreatic cancer spreads to other organs very early in its development before the cancer is even detectable. We believe that the cancer cells become migratory and get into the local lymphatic and vascular channels, as well as moving along nerve fibers. The cancer cells then have to "set up shop" in a new place, the most common being lymph nodes, liver, lung, etc. ...Read more

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Andreas has pancreatic cancer with no spread to nearby organs. After three rounds of chemotherapy, both oral and infusion, the tumor has shrunk from 4.8 to 2.8 cm. The tumor is not operable due to scar tissues. Is there any other option?

Andreas has pancreatic cancer with no spread to nearby organs. After three rounds of chemotherapy, both oral and infusion, the tumor has shrunk from 4.8 to 2.8 cm. The tumor is not operable due to scar tissues. Is there any other option?

Local aggressive: Some promising results with local aggressive treatment to the persisting mass and regional lymphatics followed by more chemotherapy. We have used cybeknife radiosurgery before and or after a course of chemo radiation to the above described regions with good results. No disease spread to other areas and shrinking mass after couple of rounds of chemo is encouraging. ...Read more

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Pancreatic cancer, ampullary tumor. Whipple procedure. Spread to liver, not respectable. Chemo for 6 months and continuing. Prognosis?

Pancreatic cancer, ampullary tumor. Whipple procedure. Spread to liver, not respectable. Chemo for 6 months and continuing. Prognosis?

Poor: While Whipple is the best approach for a primary pancreatic or ampullary lesion, the recurrence rate at 1-2 yrs is 90%. Chemo either of the FOLFIERI or Genciabine /Abraxane combo have limited effects on liver mets which in pancreas are not considered amenable to resection. There is an FDA protocol using specific monoclonals targeting pancreas that might be available but only after chemo failure ...Read more

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My dad have pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver. He took chemo and the doctor stopped it because it did not help. How long will live?

My dad have pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver. He took chemo and the doctor stopped it because it did not help. How long will live?

No sure answer: Pancreatic ca, is very hard to treat, and frequently painful.
Help him stay well nourished.
See that he gets the best pain control he can.
Be realistic on stage and tx benefits. ...Read more

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I have had appendix cancer that spread & thyroid cancer. My dad had pancreatic cancer. I am curious about men1/2 & endocrine cancers. I'm only 37...?

I have had appendix cancer that spread & thyroid cancer. My dad had pancreatic cancer. I am curious about men1/2 & endocrine cancers. I'm only 37...?

Probably not: Appendix cancer is not part of any men syndrome. Pancreatic cancer can be, but it is a specific type called a neuroendocrine tumor. Likewise, the thyroid cancer in men syndromes is called meduallry carcinoma, which make up only about 10% of all thyroid cancers. ...Read more

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My mom has pancreatic cancer & just learned it spread to her liver. She is in the hospital w/jaundice, chill, her biliruban is 3.9. What is happening?

My mom has pancreatic cancer & just learned it spread to her liver. She is in the hospital w/jaundice, chill, her biliruban is 3.9. What is happening?

Sorry to hear this: First off I wish your mother and family the best. Also, your best bet is to ask this very important question to her oncologist and/or covering doctor. They have access to more information than you can readily provide us here and it will be more meaningful/accurate. ...Read more

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What is pancreatic cancer?

What is pancreatic cancer?

Uncontrolled growth: Cancer is uncontrolled growth of cells that has escaped normal mechanisms of control that exists in the body to control cell growth and repair damage that may have occurred in the dna of a cell. If this happens to be in the pancrease, (pancrelipase) we call it pancreatic cancer. ...Read more

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Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Depends on location: Pancreas is a fish-shaped organ with its head tucked into the duodenum (c-shaped beginning of small intestine coming off stomach). If tumor blocks bile duct or panc duct, causes abdominal pain, pancreatitis, jaundice. If it's in tail, will cause no symtptoms till very large or spread to other areas. Most common: weight loss, mental status change such as new onset depression. ...Read more

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How to cure pancreatic cancer?

Surgery is Key: The best option for cure is surgery. About 20% of patients with pancreatic cancer are candidates for surgery. The surgery is pancreaticoduodenectomy, also called a Whipple procedure. It usually involves removing.
1. The head of the pancreas
2. A part of the duodenum
3. A of a portion of the common bile duct
4. The gall bladder
5. In many instances a portion of the stomach ...Read more

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Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Highly variable: Each person is different. Much of the early stage of pancreas cancer has no symptoms. May have gradual onset of lack or appetite and gradual weight loss. Later posdible yellow jaunduce formation. Later stage pancreas cancer can cause a severe boring pain from the mid upper abdomen into the upper back. ...Read more

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What can cause pancreatic cancer?

What can cause pancreatic cancer?

Probable viral: Pancreas cancer starts out as an intraductal lesion similar to breast DTIC (dacarbazine). It smolders within the ductal system for 15-20 yrs before first signs of ductal wall invasion to become an early pancreatic carcinoma. The TAA that are expressed early are oncofetal in origin and are suppressed at birth to reappear in the tumor as the oncogenic protein. Transformation probably viral induced. ...Read more

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How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

Biopsy sometimes: Patients with pancreatic masses, elevated ca19-9 levels, and clinical features of cancer can fairly reliably be clinically diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Biopsy should only be performed when the tumor is unresectable, metastasized, or if neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemo/radiation is being offered. Surgical resection should proceed to provide definitive pathology; needle biopsy often misses. ...Read more

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Where does pancreatic cancer begin?

Where does pancreatic cancer begin?

In the pancreas: Can be anywhere in the gland itself. ...Read more

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How can I survive pancreatic cancer?

How can I survive pancreatic cancer?

Survival: If there is no evidence of distant metastasis and it can be resected, the highest survival is achieved through surgical resection (whipples procedure) followed by chemotherapy +/- radiation. ...Read more

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Is the pancreatic cancer hereditary?

It may be hereditary: There is some evidence that pancreatic cancer may occur more in some families. Johns hopkins was doing a study on families with pancreatic cancer where by relatives were having very close followup that included ct scanning and surgery if there was suspicion of a developing cancer. I do not know if the study is still ongoing. ...Read more

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Could children get pancreatic cancer?

Could children get pancreatic cancer?

Yes indeed: The usual form is pancreatoblastoma, a tumor with a different appearance and behavior from common adult pancreatic cancer. It's quite uncommon, with a few dozen cases in the us each year. A microscopic photo of one such tumor is shown in the picture. ...Read more

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What is staging for pancreatic cancer?

What is staging for pancreatic cancer?

Tumor size & spread.: Stage i: the cancer is not touching the major blood vessels near the pancreas.
Stage ii: the cancer extends beyond the pancreas, or the cancer has spread to a nearby lymph node.
Stage iii: the cancer has wrapped around the major blood vessels near the pancreas.
Stage iv: the cancer has spread to other organs.

Surgery is usually not recommended for stage iii or IV tumors, but there are exceptions. ...Read more

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How common is pancreatic cancer at 30?

How common is pancreatic cancer at 30?

Very uncommon: Pancreatic cancer is generally diagnosed in patients over the age of 60. Rarely it can arise in younger patients, especially if you have multiple family members that have pancreatic cancer or some types of inherited breast cancer. ...Read more

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How badly does pancreatic cancer hurt?

How badly does pancreatic cancer hurt?

Varies: Pancreatic cancer can produce severe pain due to infilteration of nerves, metastases to bone and by inducing venous thrombosis and pulmonary emboli. ...Read more

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How to know if I have pancreatic cancer?

How to know if I have pancreatic cancer?

See a doctor: The first thing to do in the work up of a possible pancreatic caricnoma is to visit with a doctor and have him/her take a history and perform a physical examination. If there is concern for cancer, the physician can perform laboratory testing and imaging studies to investigate the biochemical functioning of the pancreas and its anatomy. If those are concerning, then a biopsy may be performed. ...Read more

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Can I get pancreatic cancer my age is19?

Possible: Unfortunately, cancer shows no limits in terms of what ages it can affect. However, cancer is much less likely in a 19 year old. I recommend waiting for official biopsy results before assuming this is cancer. It will be important to know not only if it is a pancreatic cancer, but also to know what type of cancer. ...Read more

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What are the signs of pancreatic cancer?

What are the signs of pancreatic cancer?

Jaundice most common: The pancreas extends across the abdomen with a head, body and tail. While the head is the most common site, its symptoms are related to the position of the bile duct under the head which when involved produces painless jaundice. The body becomes symptomatic when tumor penetrates the nerve plexus near the spine and the tail near spleen shunts blood to stomach when tumor invades splenic vein. ...Read more

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What are some signs of pancreatic cancer?

What are some signs of pancreatic cancer?

Pain, weight loss: Symptoms and signs can include pain in the upper abdomen, sometimes traveling to the back, and weight loss. Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, can occur. Doctors may be able to detect a tender mass in the abdomen or enlarged lymph nodes. Unfortunately sometimes these symptoms aren't present until later. Smoking and obesity are 2 important and modifiable risk factors for pancreatic cancer. ...Read more

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Can teenagers develope pancreatic cancer?

Can teenagers develope pancreatic cancer?

Very rare: Pancreatoblastoma (infantile pancreatic carcinoma, reported case and secondary metastatic cancer could
happen more in children. ...Read more

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What are the causes of pancreatic cancer?

What are the causes of pancreatic cancer?

Multifactorial: Pancreatic cancer (adenocarcinoma) is caused by the accumulation of mutations in the dna of cells that line the pancreatic duct. Smokers, diabetics, and people with chronic pancreatitis are at increased risk, as are some people with familial (genetic) syndromes. Another type, neuroendocrine (like steve jobs) arise from hormone-producing cells and some are related to inherited cancer syndromes. ...Read more

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What are the stages of pancreatic cancer?

What are the stages of pancreatic cancer?

TNM: The staging defines tumors by size, involvement of local structures, nodal status and metastasis. Size <2 cm=t1, >2cm-t2, beyond pancreas=t3, sma/celiac involvement=t4. T1/2 tumors with no nodes or mets=stage 1, T3 (liothyronine) with no nodes/mets=stage 2a, t1-3 with nodes positive=stage 2b, any t4=stage 3, any mets=stage 4.
Stages 1 and 2=resectable, stage 3= borderline, locally advanced (unresectable). ...Read more

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How do people with pancreatic cancer die?

How do people with pancreatic cancer die?

Body gives out: Cancer eats away at the body and takes away all the nutrition. Eventually u have no energy to function and body shuts down. Some pts die from infection in the bile duct others from liver failure due to metastasis. Everybody is little different. Unfortunately, most pts die from this disease. Death does not have to be painful, however. We have do many ways to helpout and help pts die with dignity. ...Read more

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Is pancreatic cancer rare in 25 year olds?

Is pancreatic cancer rare in 25 year olds?

Yes.: But, not unheard of. The typical adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is much more common in middle-aged to elderly patients. There are some other types of cancer, more endocrine in nature, which can occur in younger patients. Make sure you have a discussion with your doctor, who can guide you to a competent surgeon and oncologist, if needed. Good luck. ...Read more

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Are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer bad?

Are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer bad?

Can be: Pancreatic cancer symptoms depend on the extent of the cancer and can range form minimal to very significant in intensity. Typical symptoms include jaundice, abdomen pain (can be severe), bowel obstruction, weight loss, new-onset diabetes, depression, fatigue to name a few. ...Read more

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Who is most at risk for pancreatic cancer?

Who is most at risk for pancreatic cancer?

Cancer: I don't think any doctor can predict who will or won't get pancreatic cancer. I presume a family member or close friend has this. I have never heard or seen that it is contagious. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Depends: Early pancreatic cancer in the body of the pancreas is often asymptomatic or may have vague abdominal symptoms. Cancer in the head of pancreas may present with jaundice. Later there may be pain radiating to the back and symptoms from metastases in the liver. ...Read more

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How does oleander affect pancreatic cancer?

How does oleander affect pancreatic cancer?

Does not do much: Pancreatic cancer is a tough to treat cancer. Simple solutions like Oleander would not do much good. It can only delay using the proper treatment offered by an oncologist. ...Read more

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What do you recommend for pancreatic cancer?

Surgery evaluation: Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive malignancy. A surgical oncologist needs to evaluate the patient to see if the patient has resectable disease and can tolerate the whipple procedure. If the cancer is resectable often radiation and chemotherapy is used afterwards to delay/prevent recurrences. On unresectable patients combinations of radiation and chemotherapy offer some palliation. ...Read more

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What can you tell me about pancreatic cancer?

Very bad: When diagnosed is frequently late and incurable.
On occasion will be found early in head of pancreas and removable by pancreaticoduodenostomy WHIPPLE operation. ...Read more

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Pancreatic cancer in your 20s. Is this common?

No: Very uncommon to see pancreatic cancer in someone in their twenties. ...Read more

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What are the factors affecting pancreatic cancer?

Multiple: Has it spread outside the pancreas? Does the cancer involve the lymph nodes? What type-- adenocarcinoma or neuroendocrine cancer? Has a surgical oncologist evaluated whether the patient is a surgical candidate? Other than the pancreatic cancer, how healthy is the patient? These are just a few of the factors that affect the treatment and prognosis of pancreatic cancer. ...Read more

Dr. Creighton Wright
3 Doctors shared insights

Pancreas (Definition)

Abdominal organ. It is digestive organ: it secretes enzymes into the small bowel which break down food and help its absorption. It is also an endocrine organ: it produces hormones involved in sugar control and control of digestion. Insulin is one of these hormones. Diabetics either lack Insulin (type 1 diabetes) or have inadequate ...Read more


Dr. Debashish Bose
408 Doctors shared insights

Pancreatic Cancer (Definition)

Fast growing abnormal cells that are difficult to diagnose at an early stage & only sometimes can be removed with surgery. Endocrine cancers tend to be slower growing ...Read more