Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

Pancreatic cancer treatments aid in minimizing the effects of the disease while attempting to remove the cancerous tumors. Similar to therapy for other cancers radiation and chemotherapy are options as well as surgery. Developing a plan for treatment depends on the doctor chosen, the specifics of the disease, and the wishes of the patient. Educating oneself about treatment options as well as general biology of cell structure and the bodys immune system will further aid in determining the best route for treatment. Identifying pancreatic cancer symptoms include jaundice, upper abdomen or back pain, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Though these characteristics may indicate other illnesses, understanding their importance in diagnosing pancreatic cancer is important. In addition, this disease is hard to diagnose early due to the placement of the organ and misdiagnosis. Living a healthy lifestyle and recording adverse physical and mental feelings for further review may prove to significantly increase the chances of appropriate diagnosis.

Though living a healthy lifestyle wont completely prevent the chances of experiencing pancreatic cancer symptoms, it does dramatically reduce the instance. In addition, a person previously consuming toxins such as preservative in foods, synthetic sugars, and fat should consider detoxification. Through this process the body flushes out toxins sitting in a number of organs including the pancreas. These toxins increase the risk of cancer development significantly. Some medical professionals recommend detoxification once every six months even if diet is healthy. Without changing the amount of food consumed a person can change the brand or type purchased. This includes switching from canned vegetables to frozen in order to avoid extra salt and artificial preservatives. In addition, homemade versus processed frozen meals lead to significant changes in health. If homemade is not possible due to schedule conflicts then careful choices in processed foods must be made. Meal delivery services are also available which offer a weeks worth of fresh meals delivered right to the door. While all these steps aid in the prevention of the disease, research shows positive addition to pancreatic cancer treatments. Though many changes at once may offer a better chance at wellness, too much change at once can lead to complete failure. The determination, resources, and wellness of an individual will determine the rate at which change can occur. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (Proverbs 3:8)

Changes in behavior and physical wellness are important signs of serious health problems, but dont always mean cancerous tumors are present. Once all other illnesses are ruled out and adequate information is shared by the patient concerning lifestyle patterns and patterns of adverse feelings then more invasive testing including a chest x-ray, CT scan, MRI, PET scan, Endoscopic ultrasound, laparoscopy, Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography, and biopsy may reveal accurate answers. Realizing that these tests may come back with false-positives or false-negatives creates the need for continued testing before invasive surgery or other procedures are performed. These tests determine whether adverse physical feelings truly are pancreatic cancer symptoms. Though all these procedures test the same area for the same thing, different approaches may view the area differently thus ensuring proper diagnosis.

Insurance companies may only cover a few of these procedures thus creating the issue of cost. Many government programs are available to aid low-income families and doctors offices understand the proper procedures in order to ensure proper billing thus creating less financial burden for the patient. Depending on the doctor, resources available, unique patient history, and insurance coverage a plan for testing and pancreatic cancer treatments can develop. The results of these tests determine whether or not the tumor can be removed, the stage of cancer, the patients general health, and whether it is a recurrent issue. Some cancers clear up due to the patients change in diet and exercise without diagnosis, but testing can usually determine the age of the illness, thus diagnosis the power of the cells and the aggressiveness required for treatment.

Upper abdominal pain, loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, jaundice, itching, nausea, and digestive problems with no other cause create the need for concern. In most cases a doctor will treat these symptoms with all other minor possibilities in mind, however if cancerous cells are left alone they grow to untreatable numbers. Certain risk factors increase a persons chance of developing this disease including race, sex, smoking habits, abnormal glucose metabolism, hereditary pancreatitis, obesity, poor diet, and chemical exposure. Statistics show African-American men have a much higher risk of developing this disease than the rest of the population. The reasons are unknown, however certain doctors may express personal theories. Once a diagnosis is made pancreatic cancer treatments should be discussed in detail thus creating the most successful plan. Other than chemotherapy and radiation, which may follow surgical procedures, three other options are available. These include: whipple procedure, total pancreatectomy, and distal pancreatectomy. The wipple procedure is the removal of the wide end of the pancreas, which includes the removal of the duodenum, gallbladder, and the end of the common bile duct. In some cases the stomach is removed as well. This is a very serious procedure and has great risks of infection and internal bleeding. Getting a second option concerning diagnosis and treatment options should always occur to ensure the best possible care.

A total pancreatectomy includes the removal of the entire pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder, spleen, part of the intestine and stomach, and most of the surrounding lymph nodes. After surgery insulin injections and pancreatic enzymes are necessary. This procedure likewise carries serious risks. Sharing all medical history with the surgeon will determine the level of risk carried into the operating room. In some cases the risks outweigh the benefits. A distal pancreatectomy is the least invasive, but also only used on patients showing early pancreatic cancer symptoms. This procedure only removes a small portion of the pancreas and the spleen. Though this procedure is minor compared to the others it still presents serious risks of infection and bleeding.

Liver Cancer Treatment

Information about liver cancer treatment is available to those who are infected with the disease and desire to know what is ahead of them for longevity and treatments. There are two types of the carcinoma, primary and secondary. Primary means that the illness originates in the organ and secondary means that the illness has spread from another organ. This organ is one of the largest in the body. It has four lobes and fills the upper right side of the abdomen inside the rib cage. It has essential functions in the body, including filtering out harmful substances from the blood, making bile to help digest fats from food, and storing glycogen for the body's later use in creating energy. Glycogen is essentially sugars in the body. This is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the organ. Or a metastasis may begin in another part of the body and spread to this large organ. Although this illness can occur in adults and children, liver cancer symptoms are different for adults and children.

There are numerous risk factors for this disease. Being infected with hepatitis or cirrhosis are both serious risk factors. Having a risk factor does not mean a person will automatically contract the disease, but the likelihood is much higher. Not only does have these two diseases increased the likelihood, but also having a close relative who have either hepatitis or carcinoma. A fungus that can grow on foods can also cause problems. That is called aflatoxin, and is found on grains and nuts that have not been stored properly. One of the main liver cancer symptoms is a lump or pain on the right side of the body. This may be caused by a swelling of the organ. Other warning signs are a hard lump on the right side just below the rib cage, discomfort in the upper abdomen, pain around the right shoulder blade, unexplained weight loss, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and white of the eyes), fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite. Once tests of the organ and blood detect primary carcinoma in this essential organ, liver cancer treatment should start immediately.

With liver cancer treatment, a number of tests and procedures may be ordered by the doctor. First would be a physical exam to check for general signs of health. The doctor will search for lumps and will ask for a medical history of health habits and past illnesses. A serum tumor marker test, which is a blood test, will measure certain substances in the blood that are given off by tissues or tumor cells. There are tumor markers that can show the signs of a present carcinoma. A complete blood count will also be drawn. This shows the number or red blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and the portion of the blood made up of red blood cells. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that looks inside the abdomen. The surgeon makes small incisions in the wall of the abdomen and inserts a small camera that has a small lighted tube. A biopsy may be performed at the same time. A biopsy is when the surgeon removes a small amount of cells or tissues so that they can be examined under a microscope. A biopsy may also be done during an x-ray or ultrasound. This is called a fine-needle aspiration biopsy. These may all be done at the existence of liver cancer symptoms.

Another procedure that may be ordered is a CT scan. A dye is injected into a vein to highlight parts of the body. Then the machine takes detailed pictures of the body. A computer is linked to an x-ray machine to make the picture more complete. Another test is called an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This uses magnet, radio waves, and a computer to take pictures inside the body. It can pinpoint parts of the body to make a more accurate definition of the disease. Another test, an ultrasound exam, uses high-energy sound waves that bounce off internal tissues to make echoes. These echoes form a picture called a sonogram. These are all recent inventions that make diagnosing liver cancer symptoms more accurate and give doctors better choices in liver cancer treatment. When the illness has spread from the primary organ to other parts of the body, that is called staging. It is important to know the stage the disease is in to plan liver cancer treatment. First an x-ray may be order to take pictures of other parts of the body, including the heart and the bones. A CT scan or an MRI may be ordered. Then a bone scan will be done to see if any of the bones have been infected. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the veins and collects in the bones. This material is detected by a scanner and shows up any abnormalities in the bones. A Doppler ultrasound will measure the speed and direction of the flow of blood. If the tumor is only located in the primary organ, it can be removed by surgery. It is has spread to other places in the body, then other procedures such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy will be used. But even if we find that we have liver cancer symptoms, we have a Savior who can heal. Matthew 4:23 says, "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." He has just as much power to heal today as He did two thousand years ago.

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