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10 Apr 2003

Pancreatic Cancer
Dear Cyberdoc

What are the initial symptoms? How long does one have to live once a patient has been diagnosed with Cancer? What difference does a year make, and what is the normal treatment? What does a stent do in the treatment of this disease, is this the only available treatment? Can the Pancreas be removed? Does Chemotherapy treat this disease?

I am really sorry that I am full of questions but my dad contracted this disease and I am really worried.
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Expert
CyberDoc
CyberDoc

01 Jan 0001

Worried, these are questions you should ask his doctor as he has all the relevant details at his disposal. I’ll answer your questions as best I can.
What are the initial symptoms? It all depends on what structure is infiltrated first. Usually it is the common bile duct and those people present with jaundice.
How long does one have to live once a patient has been diagnosed with Cancer? I’m in this business long enough to not even try to answer it without having all the relevant info at my disposal.
What difference does a year make, and what is the normal treatment? The pancreas can be removed if it’s very early in the disease, but usually the disease has progressed too far by the time the diagnosis is made. It isn’t a disease with a good prognosis overall.
What does a stent do in the treatment of this disease, is this the only available treatment? A stent keeps the common bile duct open so that the bile can flow freely into the small intestine.
Can the Pancreas be removed? Yes
Does Chemotherapy treat this disease? As far as I know, no chemotherapy has been proven to work consistently.
I’m sorry I can’t give you more specific information, but it is really difficult without him being my patient. Let me know if you have more questions. Good luck.
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