- By Laurel Kelly
Consumer Health: The challenges of treating pancreatic cancer
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about the challenges of treating pancreatic cancer.
Approximately 57,600 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and 47,050 people will die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. It is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer often don't occur until the disease is advanced. This means the disease is rarely detected at its early stages when it's most curable.
Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these treatments. When pancreatic cancer is advanced and these treatments aren't likely to offer a benefit, your health care provider will focus on palliative care to keep you as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.