Pancreatic cancer can be a frightening diagnosis because survival rates are much lower compared to other cancers. There are no specific signs for pancreatic cancer and symptoms such as weight loss, abdominal pain, jaundice, and appetite loss are not very specific. Treatments can include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and endoscopic procedures. An endoscope is a long thin tube with a light and camera on the end which allows a better look at the pancreas.
New and improved testing and treatment methods help people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live longer. For example, a positron emission tomography (PET) scan can provide more information to show whether a particular kind of treatment is shrinking the tumor. If there is no response, treatment can be changed to achieve a better outcome. Another example is genetic testing which can uncover a patient’s DNA or DNA changes that are specific for pancreatic cancer returning.
If you are facing a difficult cancer diagnosis, like pancreatic cancer, clinical trials can provide an option to experience treatments that you might not have otherwise had.
Pancreatic Cancer clinical trials at Mayo Clinic can be found here: Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials - Mayo Clinic Research
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Learn more about pancreatic cancer from Mayo clinic surgical oncology Dr. Stucky.
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