Pancreatic Cancer

Cancer Treatment Centers in Phoenix, AZ

At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we understand how difficult of an experience it is to be diagnosed and fight against cancer – and we’re here to help you do it, no matter what you’re up against. We’re proud to offer world-class radiation therapy cancer treatment at our six Phoenix, AZ cancer treatment facilities, and our treatment team works with patients individually to create personalized treatment plans that work with your lifestyle. We’re proud to treat even the most difficult forms of cancer, and if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we’re here to help.

About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer refers to any cancer that develops in the pancreas: a small, fish-shaped organ that sits behind the stomach. The pancreas plays an important role in digestion, secreting a variety of hormones and enzymes that aid in breaking down food and extracting nutrients.

Pancreatic cancer comes in two forms: exocrine and endocrine (neuroendocrine) tumors. Exocrine tumors are by far the most common, making up roughly 95% of diagnoses, while endocrine tumors account for the remaining 5%. Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, died from a very rare form of endocrine pancreatic cancer. Not all pancreatic growths are cancerous: some tumors may be completely benign, while others may have a risk of developing into cancer. This latter form is known as precancer.

Pancreatic cancer affects more than 40,000 people per year in the US, making it just short of the 10 most common forms of cancer. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is also one of the most dangerous forms of cancer. 5-year survival rates for Stage I pancreatic cancer are around 14%, while 5-year survival rates for Stage IV pancreatic cancer stand at just 1%. That said, even for people with the most severe form of pancreatic cancer, there’s hope – and high-quality radiation therapy, like the kind we provide at our Phoenix, AZ cancer treatment facilities, offers one of the best options for treating pancreatic cancer.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

The earlier pancreatic cancer is detected and diagnosed, the more likely that treatment will be effective, which makes it important to know the symptoms of pancreatic cancer and watch for any signs of the disease. The most common symptoms include:

  • Jaundice: This is often the first symptom patients experience. Jaundice is a gradual yellowing of the eyes and skin that’s caused by the buildup of bilirubin, which is a dark yellow-brown substance produced by the liver. Bilirubin is a component of bile, which aids in digestion and nutrient extraction in the bowels. If pancreatic cancer forms near the head of the pancreas, it may press on and partially close the common bile duct, which carries bile and other substances from both the pancreas and the liver to the bowels. If the common bile duct is obstructed or closed, bilirubin can build up in the body and cause jaundice.
  • Itchy Skin: If enough bilirubin builds up, the skin may itch in addition to turning yellow.
  • Pain in the belly or back: Pancreatic tumors that grow large enough may press on other organs, causing back pain or belly pain.
  • Loss of appetite & weight loss: Pancreatic cancer can cause patients to completely lose their appetite, which can also cause weight loss.
  • Nausea & vomiting: If the tumor presses on the stomach, it may partially close the entrance of the stomach into the intestines and make it difficult for food to pass through the digestive tract. If this occurs, patients may vomit or feel nauseated.
  • Enlarged liver or gallbladder: If the tumor closes the bile duct, bile may build up in the liver or gallbladder, causing these organs to grow larger.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Phoenix, AZ Cancer Treatment Facility

While pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancerous conditions, at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we firmly believe there’s always hope. Thanks to the huge advances made in radiation therapy technology in recent years, modern cancer treatments are more effective than ever, providing hope even for patients with advanced forms of pancreatic and other cancers. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you beat cancer and reclaim whole body health, contact us today to schedule an appointment or get a second opinion on your diagnosis. Fighting cancer is a matter of life and death, and you deserve the absolute best in your treatment – and that’s exactly what Palo Verde Cancer Specialists is here to provide.

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