Pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple procedure

When a person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the first thing that the doctor will do is order a series of tests which will determine the stage of the cancer, the overall health condition of the patient and the rate of advance. These procedures are undertaken as indicators, which will dictate the possible course of treatment. If the condition is in its early stage, almost 90% of the doctors will advise the patient to undergo a pancreas surgery, commonly known as Whipple Procedure. This procedure is the most popular form of treating the cancer of pancreas when it is in its early stage. Whipple procedure is basically a surgery in which the parts of the pancreas that are infected with the cancer cells are being removed. In certain cases, besides the parts of pancreas the doctors need to remove parts of the intestine, bile duct, gallbladder and the surrounding lymph nodes. The pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple procedure is significantly increased, especially if the doctor successfully removes all the parts that were infected with cancer cells.

Pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple- The procedure

The Whipple procedure is a very complex invasive surgical operation, and it is usually done by experienced surgeon who has performed at least 20 exact procedures. It is major, high-risk surgery that is accompanied by numerous possible complications, which can turn out to be fatal. Having in mind that only 10% of the pancreatic cancer cases which are operable appear to be limited inside the pancreas, in the other 90% cases the cancer cell are spread out to the nearby tissues and organs, so the surgeons need to remove those parts, too. Those patients who have successfully undergone the operation can expect increase of the pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple procedure by almost 7%.

Pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple – The risks

Even though the surgeons can remove all the body parts that they find contracted with cancer cells, there is always the possibility of small number of cancer cells that have travelled through the body can grow into new tumors and spread out to other tissues and body organs. Pancreatic cancer is amongst the top 4 most fatal conditions; however the Pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple procedure grows with each procedure. Nevertheless, the procedure itself carries with it a great number of health risks, such as leakage of the pancreatic juice, inability to metabolize the consumed food, paralysis of the stomach and serious weight loss.

Pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple- The survival rates

Pancreatic cancer life expectancy after Whipple procedure can be still difficult to determine, having in mind that the survival rate is affected by the pancreatic cancer’s stage, the overall health condition of the patient as well as the success rate of the procedure itself. For patients in whom the pancreatic cancer isn’t spread onto the lymph nodes, the life expectancy after the Whipple procedure is around 40%. In addition to all what we have already said, it is good to add that for patients with benign form of cancer of pancreas, the Whipple procedure is completely curative, which means that their health complications due to this condition will be cured once the procedure is successfully undertaken.

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