Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
cancer is the tenth most commonly found cancer and a significant cause of cancer-related fatalities. The
detection of pancreatic cancer is highly difficult. By the time patient is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,
it gets proliferated to the final stage where survival becomes almost impossible. This is a deadly form of
cancer directly affecting the ducts that carry the juices of the pancreas. In order to prevent the spread of
pancreatic cancer to other organs like liver, lymph nodes and lungs, radiation therapy is suggested to
patients. This is an effective radiation treatment that inhibits extreme multiplication of the cancerous
cells in pancreas and prevents its malignancy.
The first step in the
pancreatic cancer treatment is to remove the cancerous growth through surgery. This is called the
surgical resection in the pancreas. However, just surgery alone cannot completely remove the cancer from the
body. In order to remove every trace and hint of cancerous cells from the pancreas combination of radiation
therapy with surgical procedure needs to be applied. Sometimes doctors also suggest chemotherapy and pancreatic cancer radiation therapy keeping in mind the extent and the
enormity of the disease.
There are two method of
subjecting radiation on a patient. The first is the external
radiation method wherein an external machine is used to transmit X-rays inside patient’s affected
organ. Another method is the internal radiation method where
the radioactive materials are enclosed in needles or catheters and inserted inside the body.
Advantages of External
This is an outpatient process
and does not involve any risk or complication in comparison to a major surgery. There are hardly any
bleeding, cuts, stitches, pain or stroke associated.
It is a simple and a painless
procedure without any incision involved.
External radiation therapy is
safe for the pancreatic patient. The patient can follow his day to day activities normally simultaneously
with this treatment.
Intensity Modulated Radiation
When conventional radiation
therapy fails to impress the pancreatic cancer patient, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is
considered an appropriate option for enhanced results. This advanced radiation therapy spares the healthy
cells and targets only malignant tissues. In most of the cases, IMRT is used in combination with another main
One of the most common side
effects of radiation treatment is its effect on the healthy
cells. When powerful and high energy beams are beamed on the malignant cells, the radiation also seep to the
surrounding healthy cells, causing related problems.
Other common symptoms of
pancreatic cancer radiation therapy are darkening of skin, loss
of appetite and excessive hair loss. The occurrences of these side effects are subjective and may vary from
patient to patient. These side effects tend to gradually subside within a period of 4 or 6 weeks after the
treatment gets over.
However, due to the medical
advancement many new methods of radiation therapies are coming up for the rescue of the cancer patients.
These latest methods prevent the destruction of the healthy cells to significant extent.