There are quite a few options of treatment for pancreatic cancer and the type of treatment chosen for a patient is based on a variety of factors. The standard treatment plans include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, targeted therapy, and chemo-radiation therapy.
In addition to treatment for fighting against pancreatic cancer, patients would also need to look into supplemental treatment options for dealing with the various side effects. Those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer also need to pay attention to their body’s nutritional needs. As with any form of cancer treatment, there are side effects associated with the treatment for pancreatic cancer as well. It is not sufficient to get onto a treatment plan and then back out when remission begins. Constant monitoring and follow-up with doctors is needed to ensure that there is no residue or recurrence of cancer.
The treatment plan for those affected with this form of cancer will primarily depend on the stage that the cancer is in as it showcases the characteristics of cancer. Here is a list of usually-recommended treatments for pancreatic cancer based on the diagnosis of the stages:
1. Treatments for stages 1 and 2
In this stage, the usual course of action could probably involve the following: surgery, chemotherapy after surgery, chemo-radiation after surgery, combinations of chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy. Some doctors may recommend a clinical trial if there is scope for better recovery. However, various criteria are considered when you need to be accepted for the trial. This can range from your age to the type of cancer progression you are at, etc.
2. Treatments for stage 3
In this stage, the usual course of treatment will be to push for chemotherapy along with chemo-radiation or vice versa. There can be a palliative surgery for adding in a stent so that any ducts that are blocked can be easily bypassed. At this stage, the clinical trials recommended will be restrictive and will not be standalone courses of treatment but may include chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapy.
3. Treatments for stage 4
This is one of the critical stages and every measure for treatment is devised after high levels of analysis. In this case, the testaments in the form of palliative care would be suggested to remove any blocks or receive pain along with high levels of supportive care for the patient. This may also require stent replacement surgeries because of the ducts or the small intestine having functional blocks. However, the level of the clinical trial will be very narrow in their qualification guidelines and getting in line can be slightly more constrained than other stages.
You must spend some time with your care team and understand whatever course of treatment you pick.It is important to know the various levels of care that you need to pay attention to.