Pancreatic cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control in the pancreas. Your pancreas is in your belly, behind your stomach. It makes juices that help your body digest food. It also makes insulin, which helps control your blood sugar level.
You may have a combination of treatments, depending on how advanced your cancer is. You may have surgery to take out part or all of your pancreas. Also, you may need radiation treatments or may take medicines that destroy cancer cells (chemotherapy). You may need to take medicines to help you digest food and control your blood sugar. If the cancer causes pain, your doctor will give you medicine or other treatment to help you be more comfortable.
When you find out that you have cancer, you may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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