Pancreatic Cancer

 

Meet Sarah

On April 8, 2015, 31-year-old Sarah Vafadar was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Her diagnosis was met with seemingly impossible odds, but her journey took a turn toward hope when she found the healing effects of Integrative Medicine alongside cancer treatment.

 

The doctors at INTEGRIS are widely considered some of the best at treating cancer in Oklahoma. Our team brings decades of experience diagnosing and treating every type of cancer. We serve the entire state from our hospital locations in Oklahoma City, Yukon, Edmond, Enid, and Miami.

The INTEGRIS team is committed to providing the best care for its patients with pancreatic cancer. We believe this starts with education about the disease, its symptoms, and treatment.

The pancreas is part of both the digestive and hormonal systems of the body. It secretes digestive enzymes necessary to break down food. The pancreas also secretes insulin and glucagon, which help regulate the body’s use of sugar, and somatostatin, which helps regulate the hormone system. A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer means cells in the pancreas have begun to behave malignantly, growing un-checked and possibly invading other areas of the body.

The specific type of pancreatic cancer diagnosed is determined by what type of cells become cancerous. Cancerous cells in the lining of the pancreatic ducts are termed adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. This is the most common type of pancreatic cancer. Adenosquamous carcinoma is cancer of hormone-secreting skin cells, and squamous cell carcinoma is cancer of cells on the surface of the pancreas. These last two types of pancreatic cancer are much rarer.

While symptoms of this medical condition may present differently in each individual, here are common symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer:

  • Indigestion, especially after eating fatty foods
  • Jaundice—yellowing of eyes, skin, or nails.
  • Upper-abdominal or upper-back pain
  • Pale, greasy stools that float in the toilet
  • Dark yellow or brown urine
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight
  • Pain, redness or swelling in the legs
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fatigue and shortness of breath
  • Uneven, lumpy, fatty tissue under the skin

These symptoms may not be sure signs of pancreatic cancer, but could be signs of other medical concerns. Be sure to visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Each person's treatment program is unique to him or her. Upon diagnosis, a program is mapped out, taking into consideration the individual’s age, overall health and health history, the type of pancreatic cancer, how much the cancer has advanced, predicted course of the disease, tolerance for available procedures and medications, as well as the person’s preferences and opinions.

Depending on these considerations, a treatment plan may include surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas, parts of the small intestine, the gallbladder, and the bile duct. It may also include external radiation therapy and/or powerful anticancer drugs called chemotherapy.

For more information on pancreatic cancer visit our health library. If you have concerns about cancer please request a consultation with your primary care physician, or contact the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute in Oklahoma City.



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Oklahoma's largest hospital network
3300 N.W. Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK 73112 Phone: (405) 951-2277
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