The pancreas is a gland about 6 inches long, shaped like a thin pear. It lies between the stomach and the spine. It has two main jobs in the body–to make juices that help digest (break down) food and to make hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, that helps control blood sugar levels. Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas.
Some other symptoms are abdominal pain, back pain, fever with chills and vomiting.
The tumour is in the pancreas, has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body
The tumour extends beyond the pancreas, but has not spread to nearby arteries, veins, lymph nodes or other parts of the body
The tumour has spread to nearby arteries, veins, and/or lymph nodes but has not spread to other parts of the body
Tumour has spread to other parts of the body (liver, peritoneum, lungs)
It can spread to adjuvant organ like small bowel, vessels, liver, lungs and give rise to jaundice and mass abdomen, back pain and vomiting.
Physical exam and history, blood chemistry studies, tumour marker tests
MRI, CT scan, and PET scan, abdominal ultrasound, endoscopic ultrasound, laparoscopy and biopsy (not mandatory)
It is critical to get started on a treatment as soon as possible. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment options for people with pancreatic cancer can include:
Pain control is also an important part of treatment for many patients. Sometimes, the best option might include more than one type of treatment. Surgery offers the best chance of cure, for both proximal and distal parts of pancreas. Other options for advance tumours are endoscopic stenting (Jaundice and Vomiting), chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Tumours which are locally advance may need vascular resection and multi organ resection (both of which are being performed at Kokilaben Hospital).