Posted by: Susan | 2009/04/14

Cancer level rating - pancreatic cancer

Could you please explain what it means if a doctor tells you that your cancer is now in the lrvel 4 B stage?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Susan

Stage 4 B pancreatic cancer means that the cancer has spread to distant organs, most commonly the liver. (Also called metastatic pancreatic cancer)

To kill cancer cells that have spread throughout the body, chemotherapy is needed to limit the growth of tumours in other organs. Metastatic pancreatic cancer is considered to be incurable and historically patients rarely survived more than one year. However, with newer treatments, some patients are surviving 1-2 years with a reasonable quality of life. The main management of patients with Stage IV pancreatic cancer is focused on reducing pain and ensuring that they get in enough nutrients. Sometimes operation is necessary, not to remove the cancer but to reduce pressure on nerves and to relieve pain.

Dr Bets

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