Different types of pancreatic cancer require different treatment options. Treatment choices may be based on the type of pancreatic cancer, the stage of the disease, the patient's preferences, and cancer's overall health. When discussing the various treatment options, patients should ask their doctors questions about the possible side effects of the treatment. Discussing the treatment goals with their healthcare provider and sharing decisions is essential. Different treatment methods may also require different amounts of treatment.
Treatment options for pancreatic cancer
When a person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage 4, treatment options can range from surgery to radiation therapy. The choice of treatment is based on the type of cancer, the cancer stage, the side effects of the treatment, and the patient's preferences. The team that works with the patient to choose the right course of treatment should be able to answer any questions they have and be willing to discuss the side effects and goals of treatment with them. This way, the patient and doctor are in the same decision-making process.
While surgery is an option for treating stage 4 pancreatic cancer, it is not a cure. Treatment options for pancreatic cancer stage four focus on restoring the patient's quality of life. Surgical removal of the pancreas or its surrounding organs, including the bile duct, spleen, or gallbladder, may be necessary. However, the patient's symptoms may remain unaffected, so palliative treatment is often recommended.
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) are rare neoplasms of the endocrine tissues of the pancreas. They can arise as locally advanced tumors or may have spread throughout the body. The treatment of these tumors consists of a combination of surgical debulking, liver-directed therapy, and systemic medical therapies. While the treatment of PanNETs varies widely, it can be considered an essential part of pancreatic cancer treatment.
Treatment for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors varies depending on whether or not the tumor is malignant. In most cases, doctors can only diagnose this stage by performing surgery. Surgical treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms, not on curing cancer. The treatment goals depend on the disease stage and whether or not the tumor has spread to other organs.
Patients with a non-functioning tumor of the pancreas (pNET) may undergo surgery or specialized treatments such as peptide receptor radionucleotide therapy. The treatments above have associated risks and may not be appropriate for patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. PDQ cancer information summaries are based on independent medical literature reviews and do not constitute official NCI policy statements. This cancer information summary provides current information on treating pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and is intended for patient education only, not to offer a standard treatment regimen.
The disease has spread to other organs and structures within the body. Surgical removal is not possible at this stage because cancer has metastasized. Surgical removal of the pancreatic tumor is only recommended for approximately 35% of patients with stage IVA pancreatic cancer. In addition, the disease is usually so advanced that it has spread to other organs and distant parts of the abdominal cavity that surgery is not an option.
Increasing patient-centered care has become a vital component of a patient-centered care model. Shared decision-making is a powerful tool for improving adherence and satisfaction with care. The study's findings highlight several advantages of this approach. Here are some of them:
One key benefit is the opportunity to involve family members in determining the best course of treatment. For instance, patients who inherited the BRCA1 mutation could continue chemotherapy or targeted therapy for the rest of their lives. In such cases, these treatments aim to keep the patient in remission. In this way, shared decision-making is critical in pancreatic cancer. In addition to the benefits of shared decision-making, patients can express their preferences, ask questions, and share their concerns about the treatment.