Pancreatic cancer Treatment & Diagnostics in Nehru Enclave, Delhi
Overview of pancreatic cancer surgery
Pancreatic cancer treatment includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The treatment plan depends on the stage and location of your cancer. The primary aim of the treatment is to eliminate the tumor. Surgery offers the best long-term survival solution if you are eligible for the operation. Get in touch with the pancreatic cancer surgery specialist near you to get an expert opinion on the treatment options and eligibility for surgery.
What is pancreatic cancer surgery?
Surgery for pancreatic cancer can be performed if the cancer is contained in the pancreas and has not spread to lymph nodes, blood vessels, and other organs. Depending on the location and size of cancer in the pancreas, all or parts of the pancreas along with a part of the healthy tissue around the tumor are removed during the surgery.
When is pancreatic cancer surgery recommended?
Pancreatic cancer is most often diagnosed only after cancer has metastasized or spread. In such cases, surgery will no longer be beneficial. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, only 20 percent of the people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are eligible for surgical treatments.
In cases where cancer has spread to the blood vessels, lymph nodes, and other organs, the oncologist might suggest surgery as a means to alleviate symptoms and make you more comfortable.
It’s important to discuss your surgical options, the risks, benefits, and recovery time with your oncologist. Consult pancreatic cancer surgery specialists in Delhi to understand the diagnosis and treatment.
What are the types of surgery for pancreatic cancer?
There are different surgical options to treat pancreatic cancer. Depending on your cancer type, size, and other factors a team of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals will decide which procedure suits you the best.
- Whipple procedure
- Palliative surgery
Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Nehru Enclave, Delhi
Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment
Who qualifies for pancreatic cancer surgery?
If the cancer is localized (not spread beyond the pancreas), surgical means of resection or removal of the tumor is possible. Additionally, your overall health and pre-existing medical conditions can also play a role in determining if you qualify for the surgery.
Around 20% of individuals with pancreatic cancer are suitable for Whipple surgery and other procedures. These are often individuals whose tumors are confined to the head of the pancreas and have not spread to nearby major organs such as the liver, blood vessels, the lungs, or the abdominal cavity.
Why is pancreatic cancer surgery conducted?
Pancreatic cancer can spread locally, blocking or interfering with blood flow in the small intestine, pancreatic, and bile ducts. These problems can lead to symptoms and death. Pancreatic cancer surgery is the only possible therapy for the condition. Surgery might also explore as an option to minimize palliative symptoms.
If untreated, pancreatic cancer is deadly. If the disease does not resolve or improve, it quickly gets worse. Thus, a treatment strategy must be planned shortly after or even before the diagnosis, such as during the diagnostic procedure.
Benefits of pancreatic cancer surgery
- The primary benefit of surgery is that it is the most successful method of eliminating pancreatic cancer and may result in longer life.
- Some of your symptoms, including jaundice, discomfort, and digestive issues, can improve after surgery.
- If cancer comes back, you might receive more chemotherapy to control cancer and your symptoms.
What are the expected risks of pancreatic cancer surgery?
As with any major surgery, there are some possibilities of complications or side effects.
- Delay in gastric emptying
- Fistula - pancreatic juice leaks where the pancreas connects to the intestine
- Gastroparesis or Stomach paralysis
- Digestive concerns like changes in bowel habits, malabsorption, diabetes, and weight loss
Surgery is one of the potential curative methods for pancreatic cancer. To understand the type of procedures available and your eligibility for surgery, it’s best to get in touch with a doctor at the earliest.
Depending on the severity of your case, you will have to stay at the hospital for 1-3 weeks. While at the hospital you may have abdominal drains (to drain abdominal fluid after surgery), a nasogastric tube (a tube from nose down to the stomach, to keep the stomach empty), a bladder catheter, a feeding tube (a tube into your stomach to provide nutrition).
You will have to continue using some of these tubes even after discharge.
Your doctor will give you details of pain medication, information on diet and activity restrictions. Some of the general instructions to follow while recovering are:
- Eat small frequent meals
- No heavy lifting
- Take frequent and short walks
- Stay hydrated
- Follow instructions regarding care for the surgical incision
Contact the hospital or your physician immediately in case of the following symptoms:
- Swelling, discharge, or redness at the incision site
- Fever and chills
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
- New or worsening pain
Routine postoperative checkups are scheduled after 3 weeks from the day of surgery. For the first 2 years, it's advisable to see your doctor every 3-4 months.