Pancreatic Cancer Chemotherapy
cancer is a form of cancer which is caused when cancer cells originate and grow within the
pancreas. It often has very subtle symptoms and can therefore be
difficult to diagnose in the early stages. However once it has
been diagnosed, there are a number of treatments which can be used to battle this disease. One of the options involves pancreatic cancer chemotherapy. Some further details on this type of treatment including expected benefits
and some side effects and complications will be reviewed.
cancer chemotherapy is a type of treatment in which special kinds of drugs are introduced to the body in several
different ways. These drugs have the ability to react with cells
which reproduce faster than other normal human cells. Since cancer
cells reproduce in an abnormal and rapid fashion, these drugs can be very effective at finding and killing these
This type of
therapy can deliver the drugs into the body through external means.
This can include taking the drugs orally or having them injected into the blood stream. When this occurs the drugs travel through the body until they find cancer
cells to react with.
of introducing these special drugs to the cancer site is to use pellets or small discs which contain the drug
and implant them very close to the cancer tissue. In this way the
drugs may have a better opportunity to react as much as possible with cancer cells and not healthy
why chemotherapy can also affect healthy cells is due to the fact that these drugs will tend to react with cells
which grow faster than most other cells. Hair cells and many of the
cells which line the stomach do tend to grow much faster than other healthy cells so the anti-cancer drugs can
often mistake these cells for cancer cells and damage or destroy them.
occurs it can create a number of important side effects. Some of
the common side effects can include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and hair loss. In general once the course of treatment ends, these side effects will go
It should be
noted that pancreatic cancer chemotherapy is not used extensively for the treatment of this
disease. In most cases the cancerous tissue is removed
surgically. However chemotherapy may be of benefit in treating
the excised area with the goal of killing any remaining cancer cells.
treatment may also be used to initially shrink the tumor so that it becomes more localized and easier to
remove. Chemotherapy is also often used for advanced cases of
pancreatic cancer where it has spread beyond the pancreas and affected other organs. In this case surgery would only be minimally effective since the cancer is too
extensive to be removed in this manner.
pancreatic cancer chemotherapy can be helpful in addressing some of the symptoms of advanced cancer especially pain relief. It is also an important way of trying to slow the progression of the disease
and extend the life of these cancer patients for as long as possible.
So it is not
necessarily used so much as a cure but rather as a way to extend life and improve the quality of
life. But there have also been some recent developments in drugs
used as well as delivery systems which can make this type of treatment much more effective in fighting this type