(BPT) – This year alone, nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the fourth highest cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.
The statistics about pancreatic cancer are staggering because unlike some other cancers, diagnosis is difficult as there is no screening test, and symptoms can be subtle and mimic other conditions. It often goes undetected in the early stages, and in advanced stages, symptoms are present but non-specific — such as digestive issues, back pain, and weight loss.
A pancreatic cancer diagnosis can be devastating and often comes with many questions from both patients and caregivers. That is why Celgene has launched NavigatePANC.com: a new central source for reliable information and resources selected just for people living with pancreatic cancer and their caregivers. The website has curated answers to questions on pancreatic cancer, types of treatment, tips for nutrition, and help with financial and insurance questions.
NavigatePANC.com is full of helpful information, and to give you a peek inside, here are 5 Important Questions about pancreatic cancer:
1. What is pancreatic cancer?
Like other cancers, pancreatic cancer starts with abnormal cells that grow out of control. With pancreatic cancer, the abnormal cells form a tumor or tumors in the head, body, or tail of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer can affect the functions of the pancreas that normally include help with digestion and blood sugar control.
2. How is pancreatic cancer treated?
Together, patients and their healthcare teams will create individualized treatment plans based on many factors, including the pancreatic cancer’s stage and the patients’ overall health. Common treatment plans may include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, palliative care and mental health care. Clinical trials investigate promising new treatments and may also be a treatment option for certain pancreatic cancer patients.
3. Is nutrition important?
Eating is often a challenge for people with pancreatic cancer because they are living with ongoing symptoms from their cancer, or from their surgery or other treatments. These things may impact their ability to digest foods normally, maintain good nutrition, and follow a healthy meal plan. It’s important for patients to talk to their healthcare team about a nutritional plan.
4. How can patients cope with pancreatic cancer?
Counseling can help patients learn new ways to cope with cancer, manage emotions, and improve communications both with their healthcare teams and with their families. Free telephone counseling services, online networks and support groups can help patients and their loved ones.
5. How can patients manage costs associated with cancer?
People with cancer often receive a large number of medical bills and health insurance statements. It can seem overwhelming. But there are ways to track and manage bills, statements, and payments through the creation of tracking and filing systems. Careful management of these important documents can help reduce stress, allow patients to feel more in control, and better manage their finances. In addition, there may be assistance programs that can help with certain costs.
To get more information about these and other important questions related to pancreatic cancer, visit: www.navigatepanc.com.
© 2016 Celgene Corporation. 01/16 US-CELG150210i