What Are the Treatments for Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer?

Q:
What are the treatments for metastatic pancreatic cancer?

A:
When pancreatic cancer has evolved to this stage, it can no longer be cured. Still, patients can take certain treatments to alleviate pain and prolong their lives. Three treatments are generally used for metastatic pancreatic cancer:

Chemotherapy:

This treatment uses drugs that kill cancer cells or stop them from dividing. Chemotherapy is conducted either by pills or injection into a vein. Gemcitabine (Gemzar) is the most commonly used drug. Chemotherapy may also be given in combination with radiation (this is called chemoradiation), a procedure that kills cancer cells with high-energy rays.

Palliative pain treatments:

As the tumor grows, it puts pressure on nearby nerves and organs and cause pain and discomfort. Doctors may advice patients to take palliative surgeries, such as bile duct bypass surgery and gastric bypass surgery.

Clinical trials:

Patients may consider clinical trials a possible choice if doctors say that there are no other treatments left to try. Researchers are testing new treatments in clinical trials, and patients may stand a chance of survival if the trial they enrolled eventually makes a breakthrough.

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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.