Pancreatic cancer is one of the more difficult cancers to diagnose and treat. In many cases, people do not know they have pancreatic cancer until it is farther along, so treatment should be started quickly.
The current treatment options for pancreatic cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Your care plan also includes treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.
Because of the location of the pancreas, the tumor typically cannot be felt on a clinical exam or seen or imaging studies until it becomes very large.
If your provider suspects pancreatic cancer, it is likely they will order an imaging study such as a CT scan. If a mass is seen on the exam, an Endoscopic Ultrasound may be needed. This test is similar to a regular endoscopy, but includes an ultrasound probe to visualize the pancreas, take pictures, and even perform a biopsy of the tumor.
Currently, there is no screening test for pancreatic cancer which would allow us to diagnosis this cancer earlier and likely improve the chance of survival.
Read Beebe Nurse Navigator Carrie Snyder's blog about pancreatic cancer.
The Beebe Oncology team will work with you, your family, and your care team to determine the best treatment for you.