What are the treatment options for stage 4 pancreatic cancer?

The treatments for pancreatic cancer in general include those that remove the cancer, those that prevent the cancer from advancing, and those that relieve symptoms. However, only a small percentage of pancreatic cancers are discovered in time to be surgically removed, and most stage 4 cancers cannot be treated this way because the cancer has spread too far by the time it is discovered. Surgery may still be used as a treatment, but the surgery involved is meant to relieve symptoms, not eliminate the cancer. Stents may be inserted in the body to help bile drain or to allow the intestines to function. Chemotherapy may also be used to keep the cancer from advancing quickly.

In addition, there are a variety of newer treatment options under investigation. These include new drugs, surgeries, and genetic approaches to treating pancreatic cancer. They also include biologic therapies, in which the person's own immune system is stimulated to fight the cancer.

Continue Learning about Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Why are clinical trials important for pancreatic cancer treatment?
John A. ChabotJohn A. Chabot
Clinical trials are the bridge over which all new medical therapies must pass to become accepted pra...
More Answers
Why is pancreatic cancer hard to treat?
John A. ChabotJohn A. Chabot
Like many other forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer can spread locally to blood vessels and surro...
More Answers
How do medications treat stage 4 pancreatic cancer?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
A number of different drugs may be used to treat stage 4 pancreatic cancer to keep the cancer from a...
More Answers
How can radiation therapy treat pancreatic cancer?
Aurora Health CareAurora Health Care
Radiation therapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells....
More Answers

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.