Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis: How do you not worry?
These days, there are many stories in the media about individuals with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. The statistics at first glance appear to be grim, and ultimately, there seem to be few stories with a positive outcome. Although a scary diagnoses initially, there is a lot of information that can be found that may help ease the fear and anxiety of this diagnoses, and that can assist with the process towards a successful treatment program.
How do you find answers about your pancreatic cancer prognosis?
After an initial diagnosis, you will be referred to a primary treating physician, one that specializes in individuals with pancreatic cancer. A thorough examination is often completed to ensure that the physician starting the treatment program is aware of all of the symptoms that you may be experiencing, and from there they can begin to develop a working relationship with not only you as the patient, but with your family and your support system involved with this unsettling diagnosis.
A good working relationship with the primary physician is important for several reasons. First, by forging that relationship early in the care process, you can be assured that there is a comfort level to discuss new symptoms, changing treatments, and any questions that may arise. When you feel that you can trust your physician, there is a better chance that everyone involved will be better prepared to work together to fight this disease.
Second, the relationship with a primary physician will assist with the many questions that occur regarding staging the cancer, treatments options such as surgery or chemotherapy, and other treatment plans that may be available based on the cancer site and how far it has advanced. Staging of the cancer, or finding out how much cancer is your body, is important for the doctor to develop the best treatment plan for you. By staging the cancer at the onset of treatment, it allows the medical team to give you and your family a prognosis, or the chance for recovery.
Lastly, the relationship developed after the initial stages of the process will be the pathway to a successful treatment plan for a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. As the treatment plan is developed, certain factors will be reviewed that can affect the prognosis. Some of these factors can include, but are not limited to, your overall general health before the diagnosis, if the cancer can be removed by surgery, if the cancer has spread to any surrounding organs or tissues, and if this is a new cancer, or a recurrence of the cancer.
Only a specialist can give you a prognosis for pancreatic cancer. Beginning the process with a strong relationship with your treating physician is the first step in your road to recovery.