Pancreas Cancer Radiation Treatment Options
Pancreas cancer radiation treatments through WorldMed assist are high quality, affordable and convenient. You receive the benefit of our expertise and the compassion of our registered nurses as you receive care in the US or outside the US. We are affiliated with hospitals that are approved by JCAHO or the Joint Commission International (JCI) and associated with respected US medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical. Our case managers are registered nurses who consult with you to make certain all your concerns and questions are taken care of to your satisfaction.
Most importantly, we provide you with a personal touch from start until well after your return home.
How is radiation therapy applicable specifically to pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic cancer originates in the exocrine cells, which compose the ducts that carry the pancreatic juices.
This is the case for most forms of pancreatic cancer.
The pancreas is located behind other organ systems such as the small intestine, the stomach, and bile ducts.
Therefore radiation therapy needs to be precise so that other tissues are not affected by the process.
Advanced radiation delivery systems help physicians in targeting tumor areas that may be difficult to reach in the pancreas.
Higher doses of radiation may be necessary in some cases, as well as more frequent visits to a clinic or hospital.
Treatment may last several weeks and can include a schedule of one treatment a day from Monday to Friday.
Adjustments can be made throughout the program as progress is made in shrinking and removing the tumor.
What are some of the side effects of radiation treatment?
The severity of the side effects of pancreatic cancer treatment will depend on the amount of radiation that is applied in each dose, as well as the part of the body that is involved.
Less severe or minor cases are usually accompanied with discomfort and fatigue.
Patients may feel tired during or after therapy, so adequate rest and light exercise is recommended.
Since radiation therapy for the pancreas targets the chest and abdomen area, side effects may include nausea, urinary discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting.
The pancreas plays a role in the production of cells, so patients may register a decrease in the number of active white blood cells.
Side effects typically reside once the treatment is over, though they may persist for a while after treatment.
Consultation with a doctor will help a patient determine whether any medications or suggestions can help alleviate symptoms.
Are there any developments in the field of pancreatic radiation therapy?
As described above, treatment in pancreatic cancer demands a high degree of skill and accuracy when positioning the radiation beams in relation to the tumor.
A new development in treatment methods is the Cyberknife system, which utilizes a robotic arm to manipulate the radiation in a manner which is non-invasive and requires no cutting.
The Cyberknife technology also provides physicians with thoroughly mapped frames of reference using images of the patient’s skeletal structure.
This provides the patient with more treatment options, since the increased accuracy can address tumors that cannot be operated on using standard procedures.
Also, the Cyberknife procedure allows beams to be aimed at any location in the body and from any direction.