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Before we treat your pancreatic cancer, we first need to diagnose the type of cancer you have and see how far it has progressed. We will create a personalized treatment plan based on your diagnosis.
We use laparoscopic surgery to diagnose pancreatic cancer. In this procedure, our surgeons will create keyhole-size incisions and insert instruments to determine what type of pancreatic cancer you have. Our team has expertise in using endoscopic ultrasound and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography – techniques that help us study and assess diseases affecting the digestive system.
We also can determine whether the cancer has metastasized – spread to other parts of the body – with this procedure. Patients usually recover within one to two days of the laparoscopic procedure.
The type of pancreatic tumor you have affects how we treat it. We’ll diagnose whether the mass you have is cancerous, and if it is, what type of cancer you have. Most pancreatic tumors are adenocarcinomas, cancers that usually start in the ducts of the pancreas. However, you could have one of several types of masses, including:
If we diagnose your pancreatic cancer at an early stage, it may be curable with surgery. However, we can provide treatment at any stage.
The stage of a cancer refers to how severe it is and how far it has spread beyond the originally affected organ. Staging helps us determine the most appropriate treatment method. We stage pancreatic cancer with the TNM system, the system recommended by the American Joint Committee on Cancer.
We assign numbers after the T, N, and M to describe how advanced the cancer is. Higher numbers indicate a more advanced cancer.