Introduction to Frequently Asked Questions
This section consists of our version of “answers” to very general pre-selected questions about pancreatic cancer. The task is not easy, as there are controversies in virtually every aspect of the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Also, information regarding such treatment is in a constant state of flux, with the results of new studies often challenging assumptions about pancreatic cancer or pushing our understandings just a little further along. Additionally, general guidelines frequently do not apply to individual circumstances. Each person’s situation is unique. If a cookbook-approach could work well in these circumstances, doctors would not be needed. And make no mistake about it, in our view a strong bond with a compassionate and knowledgeable physician-specialist is mandatory in cancer of the pancreas.
Our brief answers are attempts to give a sense of overview to these very complicated subjects. There are whole books dedicated to many of these individual subjects in pancreatic cancer, so our answers are (at best) summaries. Because they are designed as summaries, it is possible that whole areas of controversy are inadvertently (or intentionally) ignored or not given proper weight. So be careful when reading these answers–all of the information given here needs to be checked out with your own doctor. And do not base any action or lack of action on these answers, they are meant for educational purposes only! Please read the disclaimer to this site.
We hope that these answers give a balanced sense of some of the underlying issues about pancreatic cancer so that patients can bring more to the table when speaking with members of their own health care team.
In addition, some of the answers contain hypertext links to other Internet sites. In supplying these links, we are not necessarily vouching for the accuracy of the information contained on these other linked sites. We are rather trying to round out the information a bit AND to give visitors a sense of what other related information exists about pancreas cancer related topics on the Internet (and how and where other sites might be found for further self-directed research on the part of visitors).
These answers were generally written with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas in mind, as this is the most frequently occurring malignant tumor of the pancreas. But there is one answer which briefly addresses various other types of pancreatic cancer, and another answer which specifically addresses neuroendocrine tumors, islet-cell tumors, and carcinoid tumors. Please send on any notice of mistakes, corrections or suggested additions.