By the time you receive a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, you need to start treatment as quickly as possible, a challenge that’s easier when you rely on the experienced team at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC, in Flemington, New Jersey. The board-certified doctors work closely with you, explaining your treatment options and offering the supportive care you need, from symptom management and dietary recommendations to personalized pancreatic cancer treatments. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call the office today.
The pancreas, which is behind your stomach, has two functions: It serves as an exocrine gland that produces digestive enzymes and as an endocrine gland, producing hormones that regulate blood sugar and insulin. You can develop pancreatic cancer in both areas.
Pancreatic cancer most often begins when exocrine cells start to grow abnormally. While there are several types of exocrine tumors, the most common is called adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
Endocrine or neuroendocrine tumors start in the hormone-producing cells. This type of pancreatic cancer represents about 6% of all cases of pancreatic cancer.
The tumor may or may not produce hormones. Functioning neuroendocrine tumors are named according to the hormones they make.
Most people don’t develop symptoms until pancreatic cancer reaches an advanced stage. You may experience:
You may also have gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Surgery to remove the tumor only occurs if the cancer has not spread. In most patients, pancreatic cancer has metastasized by the time they develop symptoms and get a diagnosis.
If surgery is an option for you, Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC may provide systemic therapy, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, before your procedure to shrink the tumor. Then your doctor restages the cancer before planning your surgery.
Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC specializes in the following pancreatic cancer treatments:
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-ray beams or protons to destroy cancer cells. Your doctor at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC talks with you about the different types of radiation therapy and which is best for your cancer.
During chemotherapy, you receive one or several drugs, often via an infusion, to destroy the cancer cells. Chemotherapy may serve as your first line of treatment for advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. You may also receive chemotherapy after other treatments don’t work.
Targeted therapy refers to medications that specifically target the cancer cells, stopping them from growing and spreading. These medications are usually taken orally.
Immunotherapy boosts your body’s immune system so it can do a better job of fighting your pancreatic cancer. This type of treatment only targets cancers with specific characteristics, so you’re tested first to determine if you’re a good candidate.
Managing your symptoms is an integral part of cancer treatment at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC. The team offers an array of services onsite, giving you convenient and comprehensive care during recovery.
For example, they perform lab services and have a pharmacy onsite. You may need prescription hormones or digestive enzymes to make up for pancreatic dysfunction.
You may also receive help with your diet or have counseling that supports the emotional needs of you, your family, and caregivers. Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC also offers an advanced scalp cooling system that helps prevent chemotherapy-related hair loss.
You won’t face pancreatic cancer alone when you choose comprehensive care at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC. Call or book an appointment online today.