What Are the Basics of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer?

What is advanced pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer happens when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor, which is an abnormal mass of tissue.’

Advanced pancreatic cancer means the cancer has spread from the pancreas to other parts of the body.

Advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer means that the cancer has spread through the bloodstream, or the lymphatic system, to other organs in the body.

The liver is the most common place for it to spread to.

It could also spread to:

  • the lining of the bowel or abdomen (the peritoneum)
  • the lungs
  • the bones
  • somewhere else

What are symptoms of advanced pancreatic cancer?

Symptoms of advanced pancreatic cancer depend on where the cancer is in the body.

Common symptoms include:

  • feeling tired and unwell
  • feeling or being sick
  • persistent vomiting and unexplained weight loss
  • poor digestion
  • tummy (abdominal) pain
  • yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • a build-up of fluid in your tummy (abdomen) – ascites

Consult your doctor if you’re worried about a symptom or if it continues for more than a few days.

What are treatment options for advanced pancreatic cancer?

Treatment options for advanced pancreatic cancer include:

  • Surgery to relieve symptoms
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Palliative treatment

What about the prognosis of advanced pancreatic cancer?

Cancer that has spread beyond the pancreas into surrounding tissues is called locally advanced cancer or stage 3. If it can’t be removed by an operation, the median survival is about 6 to 11 months.

For cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (stage 4), the median survival is only between 2 and 6 months. But this can vary depending on how much the cancer has grown and where it has spread.

Consult a specialist to design the most suitable treatments plan for you.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.