Lung Cancer Diagnostic Assessment Program
Our Lung Cancer Diagnostic Assessment Program offers patients easy and timely access to quality care by pairing patients with a Patient Navigator who is entirely dedicated to supporting the individual from suspicion of cancer through to diagnosis and referral to necessary specialists.This centralized program creates a streamlined process and personalized care to support patients and their families as they begin the cancer journey.
Thinking About Taking Part In A Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures. Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art cancer treatment. In some cases they may be the only way to get access to newer treatments. They are also the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat cancer. Still, they’re not right for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about clinical trials that might be right for you, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials.
Help Getting Through Cancer Treatment
People with cancer need support and information, no matter what stage of illness they may be in. Knowing all of your options and finding the resources you need will help you make informed decisions about your care.
Whether you are thinking about treatment, getting treatment, or not being treated at all, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms. Communicating with your cancer care team is important so you understand your diagnosis, what treatment is recommended, and ways to maintain or improve your quality of life.
Different types of programs and support services may be helpful, and can be an important part of your care. These might include nursing or social work services, financial aid, nutritional advice, rehab, or spiritual help.
The American Cancer Society also has programs and services including rides to treatment, lodging, and more to help you get through treatment. Call our National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345 and speak with one of our trained specialists.
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How To Locate A Specialist Near You
Contact PanCAN Patient Services for a free list of pancreatic cancer specialists and high-volume surgeons near you.
Pancreatic cancer patients who live in rural areas may need to travel for this care. Comprehensive cancer centers often have the most thorough care with highly qualified doctors and specialized cancer services. But a smaller, local hospital or treatment center may also have the expert care you need.
Referring Physicians Please Note:
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Do You Have Questions About Melanoma
Melissa Wilson, PA-C, MPAS
AIM at Melanoma is here to help. Our team includes a specialized physician assistant to help you navigate through the entire spectrum of care. Our melanoma medical expert can provide accurate answers to a wide range of melanoma questions on a confidential basis. You can reach our physician assistant here.
5729 Lebanon Road, Suite 144-305 Frisco, TX 75034
Johns Hopkins Oncologist Tests Vaccine For Pancreatic Cancer
Neeha Zaidi is conducting clinical trials to learn whether a vaccine she and her colleagues developed can catch pancreatic cancer in its earliest stages or even prevent it altogether. The Johns Hopkins oncologist specializes in gastrointestinal cancers, and has set her sights on one of the most stubborn forms of the disease. Her trials will be the first ever for a preventive pancreatic cancer vaccine.
Catching pancreatic cancer early is really key to determining whether well be able treat it, she says. Its frustrating that so many of the patients we see have such advanced cancers.
Zaidis vaccine uses proteins expressed by a gene mutation that is strongly associated with pancreatic cancer. A mutated version of a gene known as KRAS is present in as many as 90% of pancreatic cancer cases. The mutation, says Zaidi, nearly always appears in the early stages of the cancers development. For people who have a family history of the disease, screening for this mutation could make a life-or-death difference.
The mutant form of the KRAS gene, she says, is one of the first to turn normal cells into precancer and then cancer.
Zaidis work stems from important discoveries by Johns Hopkins researchers such as Bert Vogelstein and Elizabeth Jaffee. Vogelstein, for instance, found that precancerous lesions in the pancreas take almost 20 years to become cancerous.
This gives us a huge window of opportunity, says Zaidi.
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Where Can I Find A Melanoma Specialist
Doctors who specialize in melanoma are aware of the latest guidelines and treatments. Seeing a melanoma specialist is critically important so you can get the very best care. Many specialists have access to melanoma clinical trials, which is especially important for late stage melanoma patients. AIM recommends seeing a melanoma specialist if you can.
How Is Pancreatic Cancer Treated
Depending on the type and stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment options for people with pancreatic cancer can include:
The doctors on your cancer treatment team might include:
- A surgical oncologist: a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with surgery
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation therapy
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy
- A gastroenterologist: a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the digestive system.
Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and other health professionals.
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Who Are The Doctors Who Treat Pancreatic Cancer
Most pancreatic cancer specialists work with a team of experts to take care of you. This team has many specialties and meets regularly to discuss their patients care.
Some of the team members and their roles include:
- Gastroenterologists perform tests and control symptoms
- Pathologists make the official diagnosis
- Medical oncologists coordinate patients cancer care
- Surgical oncologists perform surgery to remove the tumor
- Radiation oncologists help control cancer that is in a small area
- Nurses, dietitians, supportive care specialists and social workers help patients get resources and control symptoms, and they play an important role in the patients overall well-being
Learn more about the role each healthcare team member plays.
Considering Complementary And Alternative Methods
You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasnt mentioned to treat your cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.
Complementary methods refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctors medical treatment. Although some of these methods might be helpful in relieving symptoms or helping you feel better, many have not been proven to work. Some might even be harmful.
Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about any method you are thinking about using. They can help you learn what is known about the method, which can help you make an informed decision.
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Choosing To Stop Treatment Or Choosing No Treatment At All
For some people, when treatments have been tried and are no longer controlling the cancer, it could be time to weigh the benefits and risks of continuing to try new treatments. Whether or not you continue treatment, there are still things you can do to help maintain or improve your quality of life.
Some people, especially if the cancer is advanced, might not want to be treated at all. There are many reasons you might decide not to get cancer treatment, but its important to talk to your doctors and you make that decision. Remember that even if you choose not to treat the cancer, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms.
Why Choose Md Anderson For Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
About 80% of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed after the disease has reached an advanced stage, which makes them hard to treat. Less than 20% of pancreatic cancers are caught when the cancer is still confined to the pancreas or closely surrounding areas. Though the disease has not spread, these cases are treated with complicated surgical operations that require a high level of experience to perform safely and effectively.
Whether youre diagnosed with localized or metastatic pancreatic cancer, its important to find a team of physicians with the most innovative treatment options and expertise. At MD Anderson, you are the focus of a personalized pancreatic cancer treatment plan that brings together a multidisciplinary team of some of the top pancreatic cancer professionals that use the most advanced techniques.
World-class surgeons treating localized pancreatic cancer
When pancreatic cancer is confined to the pancreas, and sometimes when it has spread only to the nearby areas, it can be removed with surgery. The highest chances for successful treatment occur when the tumor is completely removed, and the surgical techniques required are extremely complex. Because our surgeons are among the most experienced and skilled in the nation, MD Anderson has:
Pioneers of pancreatic cancer treatment
Our experts provide comprehensive pancreatic cancer care, and they have pioneered several advances in the field, including:
Developing more effective treatment options through clinical trials
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Things To Consider When Choosing A Doctor
Consider your needs and treatment goals. Choose a doctor whose experience, personality and philosophy support these values.
You should feel comfortable and supported by your healthcare team. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network strongly recommends seeking a healthcare team that suits all of your physical, mental and emotional needs.
Diagnosing Your Pancreatic Cancer
More than 95 percent of pancreatic cancers are adenocarcinomas that line pancreatic ducts.
The stage of your disease indicates how much it has spread. Early stage cancer is a disease limited to one organ. Late stage cancer indicates spread to other organs like to the liver and lung or to the bone. Determining the stage of your cancer will affect your treatment plan. Your Winship care team may use one or more tests and procedures to determine the stage of your pancreatic cancer:
- Physical exam and lab tests.
- CT scan: computer imaging produces a 3-D picture of the pancreas and surrounding organs that allows a doctor to check for abnormal tissue that may be cancerous.
- Ultrasonography: sound waves create images as they bounce off the tissue in the abdomen.
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography : a technique that uses x-ray evaluation with the aid of an endoscope to facilitate the imaging of dyes that are injected into the ducts of the pancreas.
- Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography : a technique that uses a combination of dye injected into the liver and x-ray imaging in order to see if the bile ducts allow passage of fluid or if they are blocked by a tumor or other condition.
- Biopsy: a sample of tissue from the pancreas is examined by a pathologist to look for cancerous cells.
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Why See A Pancreatic Cancer Specialist
Pancreatic cancer is not very common. General, community oncologists and surgeons may not see patients with this type of cancer often. Pancreatic cancer specialists see and treat many pancreatic cancer patients, so they have greater knowledge of the disease and its treatment.
This is especially important for those having surgery. Pancreatic surgery is very complicated. So, you should find a surgeon at a hospital that performs many pancreatic surgeries.
For those diagnosed with rare forms of pancreatic cancer, such as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors , it is important to see a doctor who has experience with that pancreatic cancer type.
What Are The Top Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
Hello, I am Dr Renita and thank you for choosing Just Answer today and allowing me to help you. I am sorry for your concern, please allow me a brief moment and I will come back to you with an appropriate answer to your question.
The symptoms are Abdominal pain that radiates to your back, Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss, Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes, Light-colored stools, Dark-colored urine, Itchy skin, New diagnosis of diabetes or existing diabetes that’s becoming more difficult to control, Blood clots.
Ok, an Ultrasound of the abdomen and CT scan can help to determine the cause
Ok, after being diagnosed with chronic gastritis what medications do you have taken?
So did you get any relief?
Ok, a barium meal and CT scan with contrast can help to determine the cause
Noncontrast would help to detect the lesion but with contrast, it will help to get the lesion more clear and highlighted
No, you don’t have cancer, and to detect cancer a pancreatic biopsy is done
Thank you again for allowing me to help you and for choosing Just Answer as your resource. Please let me know if you did not understand my answer? Or if you need anything else. If you have a new question do not forget to ask for Dr Renita. Best wishes to you.
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How Was Czajkowskis Cancer Treated
In March 2019, Czajkowski met with the head of the surgical team at Hammersmith Hospital alongside his wife and a Macmillan nurse.
The NHS doctor explained to Czajkowski that a whipple procedure to remove the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine, the gallbladder and the bile duct, would take place two months later.
After researching the survival rate for pancreatic cancer, Czajkowski feared this wait time was a risk so decided to go private for the rest of his treatment through his wifes Bupa medical cover.
His operation was carried out at the London Clinic Hospital using a Da Vinci surgical robot in April.
I was basically told to say goodbye to my wife, because the operation comes with a lot of risk, Czajkowski said.
So it was very hard when we both went into the pre-med room because I didnt know if I was going to wake up from this major operation.
But luckily for me, just when I was saying goodbye, they had just injected me with the pre-med and next thing I was out.
Charles later began six months of fortnightly chemotherapy sessions, which led to his weight dropping to just around 67kg before his diagnosis he was around 85kg.
I looked skeletal, Czajkowski said. But I managed to stick it out. With a lot of hard work, you have to fight it, its a battle.
Preparing For A Visit With A Specialist
Gather all medical paperwork, including test results. Some hospitals need new testing, but it may save time and money to have your earlier tests easily available.
Bring original biopsy slides and original imaging films or digital imaging film copies. You have the rights to these materials. You can get them from the hospital that performed the procedure.
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How Can I Find The Best Surgeon
Pancreatic surgery is very complicated, especially the most common surgery, the Whipple procedure. Look for a surgeon at a hospital that does a high volume, or large number, of these surgeries.
Although 20 percent of pancreatic cancer patients may be eligible for surgery, data shows that up to half of those patients are told they are ineligible. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network strongly recommends you see a surgeon who performs a high volume of pancreatic surgeries to determine eligibility.
For eligible patients, surgery is the best option for long-term survival of pancreatic cancer. Data show high volume surgeons at high volume hospitals have higher success rates and fewer complications. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network strongly recommends you have a high volume pancreatic surgeon perform the surgery.
Contact PanCAN Patient Services for a free list of high-volume pancreatic surgeons near you.
If the patients insurance will not cover surgery at a more experienced hospital, file an appeal. Include information showing better results at high-volume facilities. PanCAN Patient Services can give you research articles to support this appeal.
Questions To Ask Yourself
- Did the doctor seem interested in my questions? Was the communication easy?
- Did I get enough time to ask the doctor all my questions?
- Do I feel comfortable with the doctor and his/her recommendations?
- Will I be able to reach the doctor if I have any questions or concerns while being treated?
- Is the doctor open to me getting a second opinion?
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Five Early Signs Of Pancreatic Cancer As Man Battles Disease For A Second Time
A pancreatic cancer survivor battling the disease for a second time has shared the early signs people of all ages should know.
Charles Czajkowski, 63, a business development manager for a geotechnical company from Surbiton, Kingston, has declared war on pancreatic cancer after a five-year ordeal with two rounds of the disease which also caused the death of his mother Romaulda, aged 78, in 1999.
Czajkowski, who is hoping treatment he received through his wifes private healthcare package will save his life, has urged the government to provide greater funding for the condition.
After his health began to decline in 2017, Czajkowski faced a series of delays to his diagnosis and treatment through the NHS until he accessed Bupa healthcare through the workplace of his wife of 16 years, Jackie.
After initial treatment success, in May 2022 Czajkowskis cancer returned and private oncologists are now attempting to use a series of drugs, some of which are unavailable on the NHS, to save his life.
Now working to fight the illness and help patients to spot it early, Czajkowski is on the scientific advisory board for Pancreatic Cancer UK.
Its given me control, Czajkowski said. Pancreatic cancer has declared war on me so to get back at it, Ive declared war on pancreatic cancer by being able to help educate and save other peoples lives.
Its an awareness battle because pancreatic cancer UK hasnt had much air time and hasnt had the investment.