We know that pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive of those affecting the digestive tract.
There are two types of pancreatic cancer, depending on the cells they come from: adenocarcinomas (the most common) and neuroendocrine carcinomas. The symptoms are vague: normally the first thing the patient feels is pain, weakness, loss of weight and appetite; sometimes the skin takes on a yellowish colour (jaundice). A CAT, MRI, PET CAT scan, alterations in tumour analyses and markers can give an idea of their diagnosis. The echoendoscopy with biopsy, or the CAT-guided FNAP or ERCP may be useful in its histological identification.
At Onkologikoa we have a large team of professionals specialised in this type of cancer, who are equipped with leading-edge technologies enabling them to study, diagnose and treat the disease, and to find every possible alternative.
Treatments for this kind of cancer
Jaundice treatment using plastic or metal stents is one of the first steps to be taken in the event of this situation which, if left to evolve naturally, may lead to liver or kidney failure with associated encephalopathy.
Provided that the disease has been located and meets criteria for surgical resectability, the ideal treatment for pancreatic head adenocarcinoma is the cephalic duodenopancreatectomy. The technique for body and tail tumours is corporocaudal pancreatectomy. Total pancreatectomy is another potential technique, although it entails a poorer quality of life due to loss of the pancreatic endocrine function. The corresponding lymphadenectomies must be associated.
In patients with unresectable or disseminated disease, there are several therapeutic programmes which can be adapted to their quality of life (ECOG scale) and the bilirubin levels in their blood.
As well as jaundice, another important symptom to be treated in these patients is the pain that this type of cancer can cause. The patients can be treated by specific units providing both palliative care and pain treatment.