How do medications treat stage 4 pancreatic cancer?

A number of different drugs may be used to treat stage 4 pancreatic cancer to keep the cancer from advancing and to relieve pain. Drugs used in chemotherapy are used to kill the cancerous cells in the body. Chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as other drugs used to prevent cancer cells from growing, reproducing, and spreading to other parts of the body. One such drug is gemcitabine, which stops the cancer cells from producing DNA. Another is erlotnib, which prevents cancer cells from reproducing and growing. New drugs are being developed and tested, so people with pancreatic cancer should ask their doctors about new possible treatments.

Because stage 4 pancreatic cancer may cause significant pain, pain relieving procedures, such as nerve blocks, may be used. Other medications that relieve pain, are also common in stage 4.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.