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Surgical Resection: The Best Choice Essay

1576 words - 7 pages

The medical community and scientists regard pancreatic cancer as one of the deadliest diseases that one can contract. It has “the grimmest prognosis of all types of gastrointestinal cancers” (Ibusuki, Hiraoka, Kanemisu, Takamori, and Tsuji). As it is almost impossible to diagnose pancreatic cancer before the disease advances greatly, 95 percent of all people lose a painful and grueling battle with this ailment within five years of their diagnosis (Slezak). Pancreatic cancer's severity results from the anatomic and genetic differences in each medical case. This poses another problem for researchers, as finding a similarity between different cases of cancer is imperative for the discovery of ...view middle of the document...

”). Doctors normally recommend surgical resections for patients who have local cancer, exclusively in the pancreas, or locally advanced cancer, in the pancreas and its closely surrounding areas. If performed correctly this procedure can yield five-year survival rates of 18 percent to 24 percent (Ibusuki, Hiraoka, Kanemisu, Takamori, and Tsuji). Since most who have this especially malignant form of cancer do not survive past two years, surgical resections are the most hopeful form of treatment. Cancer surgery, an invasive procedure by which the surgeon attempts to remove an entire cancerous mass from the pancreas, yields lesser side effects than most other treatments (“Treatment Option Overview for Pancreatic Cancer.”). Another form of pancreatic surgery, distal pancreatectomy, is the partial removal of the patient’s pancreatic tissue along with the cancerous mass that is affecting the pancreas. This is a useful form of surgical resection, as this does not completely remove the pancreas in an attempt to eradicate cancer, yet it also does well in a removing a considerable amount of cancer from the body (Ibusuki, Hiraoka, Kanemisu, Takamori, and Tsuji). Another variant of pancreatic cancer surgery is the Whipple Procedure. Allen Whipple first performed this procedure in 1935; Dr. Whipple removed a part of the pancreas, small intestine, gallbladder, and part of the stomach, thus removing the main source of cancer and any cancer in the outlying areas of the pancreas. Due to its complexity, only an experienced and skillful gastrointestinal surgeon should perform this procedure for a more effective outcome. Due to the Whipple Procedure’s aggressive nature, a much higher amount of cancer cells get removed. The final form of pancreatic cancer surgery is the total pancreatectomy. This procedure involves completely removing the pancreas. Surgeons only perform this procedure in extremely severe cases and usually in a mindset of last resort for a patient. This procedure, if performed early enough, could result in a complete removal of cancer in the body. Compared to other forms of treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and experimental treatments, all forms of surgical resections are the most ideal form of pancreatic cancer treatment today because it removes more of a cancerous tumor in a lesser amount of time.
In effectiveness, surgical resections beat chemotherapy, another widely used form of cancer treatment. This entails subjecting a person’s body with chemicals, consumable through IV tubes or pharmaceutical pills, in an attempt to diminish the tumor (“Treatment Option Overview for Pancreatic Cancer.”). The process not only kills tumor cells, but also destroys healthy, quickly growing cells and proteins. Due to this, a person will experience terribly uncomfortable side effects such as vomiting, nausea, indigestion, and hair loss. Pancreatic cancer surgical resections do not yield any of these extremely uncomfortable side effects (Ibusuki,...

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