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Doctor insights on: Pancreatic Cancer Incurable

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Why is pancreatic cancer often incurable?

Why is pancreatic cancer often incurable?

Caught late: Symptoms from pancreatic cancer often do not happen until it is in later stages where it starts to press on nerves or the bile tubes (causing jaundice). In addition, we do not have very effective chemotherapies to treat it once it has spread. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,223 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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What is the reason that pancreatic cancer is incurable?

What is the reason that pancreatic cancer is  incurable?

It is not incurable: Sometimes it is curable. It depends on what type of cancer it is (some have a better cure rate than others) also it depends on the location of the cancer and how it was diagnosed. Pancreas cancer is notorious for being discovered late because of a lack of symptoms. If it has invaded blood vessels, other organs or distant lymphnodes the chance of cure is very poor. Also most patients would... ...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?

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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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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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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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 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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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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Dr. Debashish Bose
396 doctors shared insights

Pancreatic Cancer (Definition)

Cancer of the pancreas are fast growing abnormal cells. These can be adenocarcinoma that can grow quickly, difficult to diagnose at an early stage & only sometimes can be removed with surgery. Endocrine cancers tend to be slower growing & may produce hormones & are surgically removed. Cystic cancers also may have better success with surgery. All of these can be difficult ...Read more


Dr. Corey Clay
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