Pancreatic cancer is considered to be possibly the most dangerous cancer. Only about 20 percent of all pancreatic cancer is considered to be curable and even among those, the probability of the patient living even for five more years is around 20 to 30 percent. Depending on the curability of the disease, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has given a set of suggestion of tips to be followed to deal with the disease.
- For possibly curable cases of pancreatic cancer: It is suggested for patients who have confirmed their diagnosis early enough for the disease to not be fatal by histopathological means, to conduct a CT analysis of the abdominal regions so as to see the tumor’s condition, and check for metastasis. Laparoscopy and ultrasound scans are also suggested as supplements. Patients can also be informed about trials and experiments they can participate in if they wish to do so.
- Locally advanced cases of pancreatic cancer: More than fifty percent of all diagnosed with pancreatic are in this stage of the disease. The potential of living past the 5 year expectancy is less than five percent, and thus, the options available are much more limited. The patients should be given opportunities to participate in any trials they may be eligible for, and they should discuss all their treatment possibilities with a multidisciplinary team. They should undergo a CT scan every 12 weeks for the next two years post treatment.
- Patients with cancer that has metastasized: For such practically terminal patients, there is a high degree of symptoms and the life expectancy is even less than a year on average. The physician should ensure the patient agrees with any actions taken, and should involve the patient in any clinical trials that may help. The FOLFIRINOX regime is the best initial treatment for this cancer. There are other options available as well.
Ensuring that the patient possesses realistic expectations and hope is the important thing while facing pancreatic cancer.