Radiation May Provide Added Benefits In Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

Posted by Erwindale on March 22nd, 2016

Pancreatic cancer has long had one of the most abysmal survival rates of any form of this disease. The American Cancer Society, in fact, estimates nearly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year. Approximately 40,000 people in America die from the disease annually. With five-year survival rates less than 10 percent, finding better treatments, better detection methods and protocols to extend life are critical. A recent study is showing the potential benefits an extra layer of treatment may provide for patients who are considered good candidates for surgery.

Researchers are finding that radiation therapy can lower cancer recurrence rates while potentially extending the anticipated lifespan of patients. The findings of a recent study, in fact, supported use of radiation and chemotherapy combined. In the study group of more than 450 patients, 80 percent of those who received both chemo and radiation after surgery had no recurrence within the area targeted by radiation within five years of diagnosis. That number compared with 68 percent of those who had recurrences following treatment with chemotherapy and surgery alone.

Pancreatic cancer is a very difficult form of this disease to detect and treat in its earliest stages. With no sufficient screening tools for early detection and few symptoms at its onset, many people are diagnosed after the cancer has progressed. When surgery is still an option, however, researchers say a follow-up one-two punch of chemo and radiation may produce more promising results.

People who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or who are at risk for the disease are urged to discuss the topic with their healthcare provider. Early screening protocols may be enacted if personal risks happen to be high. Treatment of the disease, if it is diagnosed, will depend on a number of factors specific to the unique case, including disease stage.

About Author

The Sandler-Kenner Foundation was started by Gregory A. Echt, M.D. and his wife, Susan T. Echt, after they lost two of their dear friends, Michael and Peter, to premature deaths from pancreatic cancer.

Also See: Pancreatic Cancer, Survival Rates, Recurrence Rates, Recent Study, Cancer, Radiation, Disease
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