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Unlike some other cancers, it is rare to find pancreatic cancer early, because it tends to spread quickly. Therefore, most cases of pancreatic cancer are at relatively advanced stages at the time of diagnosis.
Trusted oncologists and nurses at Dignity Health Central California help you face your pancreatic cancer diagnosis head on. Use our online Find a Doctor tool to start receiving personalized pancreatic cancer treatment in Central California.
Because it is often hard to eliminate or cure pancreatic cancer, treatment focuses on easing your symptoms and slowing the growth of the cancer. The most common treatments for pancreatic cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy.
If your imaging exams suggest it’s possible, pancreatic cancer may be surgically removed. Surgery may also help prevent complications and relieve symptoms.
Chemotherapy is a common treatment for pancreatic cancer. It can help shrink tumors before surgery for easier removal and destroy any remaining cancer cells following surgery. Chemotherapy, alone or combined with radiation therapy, can also help prevent cancer from recurring. When surgery is not an option, doctors will often use chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation to treat pancreatic cancer.
Radiation therapy can also help shrink a tumor before surgery or be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. It can also be used in combination with chemotherapy to prevent recurrence or when surgery is not an option.
Targeted therapies use markers present only on cancer cells to identify and destroy those cells. They can be used in combination with chemotherapy or when surgery is not an option.
When considering your options at Dignity Health Central California, be sure to discuss the side effects, goals, risks, and benefits of each treatment with your doctor.
Palliative therapy is often used to ease the symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Palliative care improves your overall health and well-being while living with cancer, by offering psychological and physical care.
Your oncologist at Dignity Health Central California is here to talk about your treatment options and concerns.