Is surgery the best option for pancreatic cancer?

How serious is pancreatic surgery?

Up to half of patients develop serious complications and 2 to 4 percent do not survive the procedure — one of the highest mortality rates for any operation. One common complication is leakage of fluid from the pancreas after the surgery, often in large amounts that can cause an abscess and lead to infection and sepsis.

Why would surgery not be an option for pancreatic cancer?

If your pancreatic cancer is deemed inoperable, it means that doctors can’t remove the cancer surgically. Surgery may not be an option because the cancer has spread to other areas in your body or it’s in a problematic location, such as nearby blood vessels.

Is pancreatic cancer curable with surgery?

Surgery offers the only realistic chance to cure pancreatic cancer, but it doesn’t always lead to a cure. Even if all visible cancer is removed, often some cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body. These cells can grow into new tumors over time, which can be hard to treat.

Can you survive pancreatic surgery?

For some pancreatic patients, however, a complex surgery known as the Whipple procedure may extend life and could be a potential cure. Those who undergo a successful Whipple procedure may have a five-year survival rate of up to 25%.

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Can you remove a tumor from pancreas?

Total Pancreatectomy

As the least common pancreatic cancer surgery, this procedure is used when tumors extend throughout the pancreas. In a total pancreatectomy, surgeons remove the entire pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, common bile duct and portions of the small intestine and stomach.

What is the survival rate after pancreatic surgery?

The overall 5-year survival after pancreatic head resection for cancer ranges between 10 and 25% [1–3]. Adjuvant chemotherapy, which improves patient survival, is routinely used [4, 5].

Can you survive pancreatic cancer without surgery?

A rare subset of patients with pancreatic cancer achieve long-term survival without resection. Despite prolonged survival, morbidities unrelated to the primary cancer were frequently encountered and a close follow-up is warranted in these patients.

Is it worth having chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer?

Chemotherapy (popularly called chemo) could be effective for pancreatic cancer because it may prolong lifespan. Pancreatic cancer is fast progressing. While chemotherapy may not cure cancer, it along with radiation therapy may improve the chances of survival and result in an improved quality of life.

Is pancreatic cancer a death sentence?

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and such a diagnosis has long been considered a death sentence.

What is the #1 cause of pancreatic cancer?

Cigarette smoking (responsible for about 25% of pancreatic cancers) Alcohol abuse. Regular consumption of high dietary fats. Obesity (obese people are about 20% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than non-obese people)