Pancreatic cancer surgeon: Individualized treatment makes the difference

At MD Anderson, we don’t just practice medicine by the textbook — we are the ones writing those textbooks. That’s why it’s so important for people with pancreatic cancer to come to a place like MD Anderson for treatment. Because the best chance someone has to beat cancer is their first chance. And MD Anderson doctors are doing really incredible things. Earlier pancreatic cancer diagnosis makes a difference Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose early. Symptoms include jaundice, weight loss, fatigue, and abdominal pain. But all of those can be signs of other diseases, too. The good news is that we have better imaging techniques now than we used to. And we are actively developing blood tests so we can detect pancreatic cancer earlier. That can lead to more successful treatment, because the sooner we catch cancer, the greater the number of options we have to treat it — and the better the chance we have to cure it. Advances in pancreatic cancer treatment Pancreatic cancer has historically been resistant to standard treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. But we have stronger therapies today than we did in the past, and we have a better understanding of when these treatments should be used to their greatest effect. On their own, these therapies can prolong patients’ lives and improve their quality of life. But when combined with surgery, these treatments may even result in a cure. Surgery is often considered difficult or even impossible with pancreatic cancer, because that organ is surrounded by so many important blood vessels. MD Anderson surgeons routinely remove and reroute critical blood vessels to...