What Is the Prognosis for Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer?


Quick Answer

Stage three pancreatic exocrine cancer has a 3 percent, five-year survival prognosis, while stage three pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors treated with surgery have a 41 percent, five-year survival prognosis, reports the American Cancer Society. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors that cannot be surgically removed have a 16 percent, five-year survival rate.

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Full Answer

Treatment options include chemotherapy, chemoradiation therapy and palliative surgery, explains the National Cancer Institute. Palliative surgery can include biliary or gastric bypass and biliary stent placement. As of March 2015, chemoradiation is controversial. The standard practice for its use is the administration of chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation therapy when metastasis is not present.

Chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer include 5-fluorouracil, capecitabine and gecitabine, reports WebMD. Radiation therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with a combination of these drugs before surgery to shrink tumors and increase the possibility of resection, or removal, of cancerous tissue.

Stage three pancreatic cancer is incurable, according to the National Cancer Institute. Doctors use drugs as adjuvant therapy after surgery to slow the advancement or delay a recurrence of the cancer, explains WebMD. The goal of palliative treatment is to alleviate symptoms. Stents reduce the occurrence of jaundice. Opioid analgesics and antidepressants relieve pain and reduce depression.

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