What is the role of palliative therapy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer?

Updated: Oct 02, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Answer

Palliative therapy may be administered for the following conditions associated with pancreatic cancer:

  • Pain: Pain relief is crucial for patients not undergoing resection for pancreatic cancer; narcotic analgesics should be used early and in adequate dosages

  • Jaundice: Obstructive jaundice warrants palliation if the patient has pruritus or right upper quadrant pain or has developed cholangitis

  • Duodenal obstruction secondary to pancreatic carcinoma: Can be palliated operatively with a gastrojejunostomy or an endoscopic procedure

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

For patient education information, see the Pancreatic Cancer Health Center.


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