Advanced pancreatic cancer surgeries offer hope.
With new techniques and surgical expertise, complex tumor removal operations may increase survival.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the least survivable forms of cancer. Why?
- Spreads quickly before symptoms appear resulting in late detection
- Most tumors without spread that involve blood vessels are not considered for surgery
Of the roughly 55,000 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. each year:
50% Cancer has not yet spread to other organs, so surgery, the only curative treatment, is potentially an option.
33% Cancer isn't in other organs, but has wrapped around veins and arteries. This once ruled out surgery, but with new treatments and procedures may now be an option.
Know the symptoms of pancreatic cancer:
- Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to your back
- Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes)
- New-onset diabetes
- Blood clots
Average survival time without surgical treatment for those with advanced tumors.
Almost 5 years
Average survival in a study of patients who received chemotherapy followed by radiation and complex surgery to remove both the tumor and affected blood vessels.
Removes head of pancreas, part of stomach, small intestine, gallbladder and bile duct.
Removes the left side (body and tail) of pancreas and spleen.
Removes the entire pancreas, part of stomach, small intestine, gallbladder, bile duct and spleen.
Surgery for tumors affecting nearby blood vessels
Removes tumors, associated blood vessels and any organs affected by the removal of blood vessels.
Sources: mayoclinic.org; journals.lww.com