According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. It is also one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years.
Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose because patients usually don’t display symptoms until the cancer has progressed and spread to other parts of the body. Common early symptoms include loss of appetite, mild weight loss and mild discomfort in the upper abdomen or occasionally in the middle-back. Because these symptoms can be attributed to any number of conditions, early signs are often ignored or missed.
Treatment for pancreatic cancer can be a curative or palliative approach involving surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery or a combination. Due to side effects and complications associated with surgery for pancreatic cancer patients, stereotactic radiosurgery can be a safe, noninvasive option.
Illinois CyberKnife treats pancreatic tumors with stereotactic radiosurgery using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System. During treatment, high doses of radiation are delivered to the tumor with sub-millimeter accuracy. Treatments are painless, require no anesthesia or hospital stay, and there is little to no recovery time.
For more information on CyberKnife technology, or to make an appointment with Illinois CyberKnife, please click here.