The statistics surrounding pancreatic cancer offer a grim diagnosis for many patients; a result of limited diagnostic tools and treatment options. And while funds for cancer research are raised by various sources every year, only a small portion of that makes its way to help fight pancreatic cancer. Funding for a wider scope of more in-depth research is critical to continuing to change the way that pancreatic cancer is diagnosed and treated.
Every day there are new developments in all areas of pancreatic cancer, including:
To date, it has been challenging to detect pancreatic cancer in its earliest stages. And with patients experiencing very few – if any – symptoms early on, there is no reason for them to visit the doctor. As a result, pancreatic cancer is often found by accident or during later stages when the patient is experiencing more pronounced symptoms.
Currently, researchers are looking carefully at the genetic connection of pancreatic cancer, as well as the growth of the disease. It has been shown that pancreatic cancer is a slow-growing disease that shows early changes to the pancreas itself. Research funds are being used to develop more sensitive diagnostic tests that recognize these earliest changes.
Those who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are then faced with often limited treatment options. As a result, research dollars are being spent to find more comprehensive and effective treatments for pancreatic cancer at a variety of stages.
While the removal of cancer tumors through surgery is often not a choice for patients and is highly invasive because of the location of the pancreas, researchers are working on laparoscopic alternatives. This less invasive procedure will open the surgical option for more patients and allow for fewer complications and a speedier recovery.
Other treatment options include radiation and chemotherapy, both of which are being examined intensely through research to determine more effective combination of drugs and radiation to improve quality of life, increase lifespan, and minimize the damage to healthy organs.
Of course, much time is being spent on developing new methods for pancreatic cancer treatment including vaccines to boost the body’s natural immunity response to pancreatic cancer, injections that specifically target cancer cells, and new drugs to shrink tumors.
Cancer Research has made great strides in new advances that have led to lifesaving developments in cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Many top organizations are conducting world-class research into cancer’s causes and cures. Scientists work in partnership with investigators across the nation and the world to continue their research of cancer cells and increase more defined and prevailing ways to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer as well as all types of cancers.
With the dedication of researchers and the appropriate funds to support them, there are many promising developments in pancreatic cancer research, making it so important to stay on track and put the dollars behind continued research of this devastating disease.