Is There A Best Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer?

Q:

Is there a best treatment for pancreatic cancer?

A:

Sadly, there is no such thing such as the best treatment for pancreatic cancer. Yet in each stage of the cancer, you can find certain treatment option that suits your current condition best.

Five types of standard treatment are used:

Surgery

Surgery for pancreatic cancer includes removing all or part of the pancreas, depending on the location and size of the tumor in the pancreas.  Surgery for pancreatic cancer may be combined with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells. The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide.A patient may receive 1 drug at a time or combinations of different drugs at the same time.

Chemoradiation therapy

Chemoradiation therapy combines chemotherapy and radiation therapy to increase the effects of both.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy cells.

Biologic therapy
Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. This type of cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.

For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment.

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