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Pancreatic Cancer

Choice Cancer Care -  - Board Certified Medical Oncologist

Choice Cancer Care

BOARD CERTIFIED MEDICAL ONCOLOGISTS, RADIATION ONCOLOGISTS, & HEMATOLOGISTS LOCATED IN IRVING, TX; LEWISVILLE, TX; PLANO, TX; & SOUTHLAKE, TX

Pancreatic cancer often causes so few problems that you don’t realize there is a problem until the disease reaches an advanced stage. If you're at risk of developing pancreatic cancer, the board-certified oncologists at Choice Cancer Care can help. At their locations in Plano, Lewisville, Irving, and Southlake, Texas, they provide diagnosis and treatment without delay to give you a good chance of recovery. Call the Choice Cancer Care location nearest you if you're worried about pancreatic cancer, or schedule a consultation online today.

Pancreatic Cancer Q & A

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer causes tumors to develop in your pancreas, a six-inch-long, pear-shaped gland behind your stomach.

The pancreas functions in both your digestive and endocrine systems. It produces gastric juices that help break down the food you eat, as well as the hormone insulin, which your body needs for regulating blood sugar.

Tumors develop when cells inside your pancreas undergo genetic changes that cause them to grow quickly and rapidly increase in number. Most pancreatic cancers are exocrine, meaning they affect the cells that make digestive juices. 

Only around 5% of pancreatic cancers are endocrine, affecting the insulin-producing cells.

What symptoms can come from pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer often causes few symptoms to begin with, but as it progresses, you might develop abdominal pain that radiates into your back. Other potential pancreatic cancer symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Light-colored stools
  • Itchy skin
  • Blood clots
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Unintended weight loss

If you've already got diabetes, pancreatic cancer can make it more difficult to manage. It could also trigger the onset of diabetes in previously healthy people.

How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

Diagnosing pancreatic cancer is a challenge, especially during the first phase. The Choice Cancer Care team uses advanced diagnostic tests to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms, including:

  • Blood chemistry studies
  • Tumor marker test
  • MRI, CT, or PET scans
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Fine needle biopsy

An early diagnosis when you have pancreatic cancer means you stand a much better chance of recovery. Unfortunately, because the disease doesn't cause notable symptoms until it reaches a more advanced stage, patients sometimes don’t begin treatment until pancreatic cancer is less responsive to available therapies.

What treatments are available for pancreatic cancer?

Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are possible treatments for pancreatic cancer. The Choice Cancer Care team offers several state-of-the-art radiation therapies that increase the likelihood of destroying cancer cells while reducing the risk of side effects to a minimum.

These specialized treatments include intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), molecularly targeted radiation therapy (MTRT), stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT).

IGRT technology is particularly beneficial for pancreatic cancer, as it targets the treatment area precisely even when it's moving or there are vital organs close to the tumor.

The key to successful recovery from pancreatic cancer is early diagnosis, so be sure to contact Choice Cancer Care if there's any chance you have this disease. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.