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What are some of the steps involved in the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer is a deadly cancer that arises within the exocrine part of the pancreas, so the treatment also starts with the cure of exocrine part first. While starting the treatment, there are different types of treatment obtainable for pancreatic cancer patients. Some of them are presently used while others are still under experiments and observations.

Types of Standard Treatment
1) Surgery
2) Chemotherapy
3) Radiation Therapy
4) Non-Surgical Therapy (Medications)

One of the following surgical procedures is utilized to remove the tumour:
a) Gastric Bypass: It removes the tumour out of the way of the food pipe that goes to the stomach that goes directly from oesophagus to the small intestine so that to make it feasible for the patient to eat normally.
b) Total Pancreatectomy: The whole pancreas along with the side tissues i.e. stomach’s part, small intestine’s part, the gall bladder, the spleen, the nearby lymph nodes and the common bile duct are all removed through an operation.
c) Endoscopic Stent Placement: The Doctor may put the stent in place of the tumour that is blocking the bile duct in order to drain the bile duct over that area of the small intestine.
d) Whipple Procedure: Here, the head of the pancreas, stomachs and small intestines part, the gall bladder and the bile duct are taken out such that only necessary part of pancreas remains that releases certain digestive juices and insulin as per the body needs.
e) Distal Pancreatectomy: The tail, whole body and the spleen are removed because in case the tumour starts spreading into all the body parts, then it would be dangerous to live with.
f) Celiac Plexus Block: There are group of nerves in the abdomen that are called Celiac Plexus which sends pain signals from abdomen to the brain and causes shear pain. So a surgery is done to control the pain by performing Celiac Plexus Block (CPB) or Celiac Plexus Neurolysis (CPN). CPN includes injecting an alcoholic drug that eradicates painful nerves permanently while CPB includes injecting medication like corticosteroids and numbing medications. This does not destroy the nerve but calm down the pain for few months.
g) Gastro duodenal Stent Placement: This placement is minimally persistent technique that helps to bring relieve certain symptoms like severe nausea, vomiting, malnutrition and even dehydration, finally, improves the worth of one’s life. The Tumour places a stent by replacing natural gastric path, especially within the duodenum in the small intestine.

Chemotherapy treats the cancer patient using various chemicals and drugs so as to resist the growth of cancer cells in the body. It also depends up on type and stage of the cancer.
a) Systemic Chemotherapy is either done as consuming a medicine or injected into a vein or muscle.
b) Regional Chemotherapy is accomplished when drugs are put directly into cerebrospinal fluid or organ or a body cavity such as abdomen.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation Therapy is mostly used in cancer treatment these days as it uses radiations to kill the cancer cells and resists them to grow more into the body parts. It depends up on the stage and the type of cancer it is related to.

Types of Radiation used in this procedure:
a) External Radiation Therapy throws the radiation on to the body by an external machine.
b) Internal Radiation Therapy uses a radioactive substance packed in the needles, wires, seeds, or even catheters that are put closely to the cancer tumour.

Non-Surgical Therapy
Biologic Therapy: This Therapy combines the body’s substances and substances made in the laboratory are utilised to boost up the body’s natural defence system as it uses patient’s immune system to fight against cancer cells.

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