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Our Services / Pancreatic Cancer

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About Pancreatic Cancer

About 3% of all cancers diagnosed today are pancreatic cancer. If you’re struggling with this rare form of cancer, you need the top-notch experts at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, to guide you to the best treatment. The premier gastroenterology physicians offer attentive and compassionate care for pancreatic cancer at 13 locations throughout Charlotte, Belmont, Concord, Davidson, Matthews, Monroe, Huntersville, University, and Pineville, North Carolina, so book your appointment online or call the nearest office now.

Pancreatic Cancer Q & A

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer affects the pancreas, the organ that produces digestive enzymes and creates hormones that help to regulate your blood sugar levels. Your pancreas is shaped like a flat pear, and it connects to the nearby organs through ductwork. 

Because your pancreas connects to other organs so closely, cancer in this organ can be especially difficult to deal with. 

What causes pancreatic cancer?

The specific cause of pancreatic cancer isn’t clear, but there are well-documented risk factors, including: 

  • Age over 70
  • Smoking
  • Diet high in animal fats
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Extra weight
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation)
  • Genetic mutations

Your doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, can assess your risk factors and symptoms to determine whether you have or could develop pancreatic cancer.

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

These are some of the symptoms pancreatic cancer can cause:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Unexpected weight loss

If the cancerous growth blocks the bile ducts, jaundice (yellowing of the whites of your eyes or skin) may also occur. 

All of these symptoms can also occur in other gastrointestinal conditions, including those affecting other organs, so it’s important to see your doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, promptly if you develop any of these issues.

How is pancreatic cancer treated?

First, you have imaging tests such as endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). After explaining your diagnosis, your gastroenterologist discusses treatment options. 

Pancreatic cancer treatment depends on the stage of your cancer and other factors unique to you. The main treatment options include surgery to remove part or all of the pancreas, radiation to damage cancer cells, or chemotherapy to slow tumor growth. 

Along with targeted treatment to control or cure your pancreatic cancer, your doctor also prescribes effective symptom management solutions. This may include options like oral pain relievers or a nerve block injection. 

Many patients get the best results with a blend of treatments, such as surgery along with radiation. Your gastroenterologist at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, can help you find the treatment plan that’s most comfortable and most effective for your particular needs. 

To learn more about how Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, can improve your quality of life through pancreatic cancer care, call the office nearest you, or click on the provided booking tool now.