Yes, there are some surgical options by which the disease can be cured.
The pancreatic cancer treatment depends on your health, age, personal facts and the location and stage of cancer.
The first option of the treatment is complete removal of cancer cells. Preventing the growth of tumors is the second option.
Surgical options for pancreatic cancer treatment:
Operation is the only way to remove the tumor. Surgery cannot be done in some people. But, it becomes compulsory when the cancer spreads to other parts of your body like blood vessels or lymph nodes.
Some of the procedures are:
Whipple procedure (pancratoduodenectomy) is common procedure for pancreatic cancer treatment. The wide end of your pancreas is removed in this method. For this purpose the gall bladder, the common end of bile duct and the duodenum are also removed.
The remaining parts of pancreas and the other end of bile duct are connected to the small intestine as the stomach is also removed sometimes. This helps the pancreatic and bile enzymes reach the small intestine. It has some risks like bleeding and infection.
Total pancreatectomy involves the removal of gallbladder, entire pancreas, stomach, bile duct, spleen, most of lymph node area and part of small intestine. As the operation is serious, the pancreatic enzymes and insulin injections are given after total pancreatectomy.
Distal pancreatectomy is used to treat the islet cell cancer. In this method, the tail or the small portion of your pancreas or only the tail is removed. Spleen is also removed sometimes.
Radiation therapy is used to kill the cancer cells by using higher energy x-rays. It can be given in combination with chemotherapy or after the surgery. To treat the pancreatic cancer, the radiation outside the body that is from the machine is used generally.
Some of the side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting or burns like the sunburn appear on the skin which is exposed to the radiations. Intra operative electron beam radiation is the new radiation therapy studied by some doctors in some cancer centers.
High energy particle (electron) that is used by the external beam radiation is directed to the pancreas at the time of surgery.
Chemotherapy uses the drugs that are orally taken or injected through your veins which travel through blood stream to kill the cancer cells.
Pancreatic cancer that spread to the distant organs or nearby tissues is treated by the chemotherapy along with radiation therapy. The chemotherapy relieves the symptoms but cannot eliminate the cancer completely.
Fluorouracil (5-FU) is the drug used to treat pancreatic cancer. But it is not effective. Gemcitabine in combination with other drug is used as clinical trail. Erlotinib is used to treat advanced pancreatic cancer.
The side effects of chemotherapy are fatigue, mouth sores, vomiting, nausea, shortage of white blood cells and infection. Every one will not have side effects. If you have these side effects, there are some new and better ways to control this.
Hence, there are pancreatic cancer treatments that involve the surgical procedures and drugs to cure pancreatic cancer.