Pancreatic/Gallbladder Cancer Treatment in Utah

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cancer cells form and grow within the pancreas. These tumors are hard to diagnose early, since pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms aren’t obvious. Because of this, the majority of these cancers are diagnosed after the disease has reached an advanced stage, when treatment options are limited.

Pancreatic/Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms:

Pancreatic cancer often does not cause symptoms in the early stages. When pancreatic cancer symptoms do occur, they usually result from the relationship of the pancreas to other organs of the digestive system.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms can include:

  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Dark urine or light-colored stools
  • Pain in the abdomen or middle of the back
  • Bloating or the feeling of fullness
  • Nausea, vomiting or indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sudden-onset diabetes

These symptoms do not always mean you have pancreatic cancer. However, it is important to discuss any of these symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.

Pancreatic/Gallbladder Cancer Treatment Options:

At Utah Cancer Specialists, pancreatic cancer treatment plans are based on whether or not a tumor can be surgically removed or resected. Most pancreatic cancers are diagnosed after they’ve already spread beyond the pancreas, but about 20% of pancreatic tumors are localized to the pancreas and are resectable. Whether or not a tumor is resectable, patients’ treatment plans usually vary. Typically, patients require more than one type of therapy provided by a multidisciplinary team of doctors.

One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat the cancer or help relieve symptoms.

  • Surgery the main surgical approaches used to treat pancreatic cancer are Potentially curative and Palliative.
  • Chemotherapy uses cancer drugs to slow or shrink pancreatic tumors.
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy photon beams (x-rays) to slow or shrink pancreatic tumors.