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Pancreatic Cancer

Being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is less likely than many other types of cancer in the U.S… Still, because there are often few early signs and symptoms, it is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage. Only nine percent of people with pancreatic cancer have their tumors surgically removed due to being discovered early enough in its course. Instead, most treatment aims to control its spread and maintain the health of surrounding tissues.

To better understand the course of symptoms and prognosis, it is helpful to realize the function of the pancreas and from where your tumor originated. The pancreas has several jobs. First, it functions as a complementary organ to the digestive system, secreting enzymes necessary to break down your food for absorption. It also functions as an endocrine gland, secreting hormones that help regulate your metabolism, such as insulin. Eighty-five percent of all pancreatic cancers are called pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. This means they originate in the ducts of the pancreas that secrete digestive enzymes. Less than five percent of tumors form in the endocrine glands.

There are risk factors correlated with pancreatic cancer, but not everyone with these risk factors will acquire the disease, nor will those without them be spared from it. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to maintain your health with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, especially when it comes to diet and supplementing with specific nutrients or enzymes you may be lacking. The physician team at Salish Cancer Center has the expertise to help you fight and control the disease and guide you toward optimal health and wellness while undergoing treatment.


Once you have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and know the stage, a treatment plan will be decided upon between you and your oncologist. It may include a chemotherapy regimen, surgery, chemoradiation, targeted therapy, or a clinical trial. At Salish Cancer Center, our doctors understand that you and your family will have many questions throughout your care as changes occur. Our primary goals are making sure you are comfortable with your decisions and maintaining your trust in us as providers. You will meet with both a medical oncologist and a naturopathic integrative oncologist throughout your care. They will be available to answer questions and help you learn more about your condition and options. We also offer acupuncture and Native Healing services, which are both respected for their unique benefits to cancer patients. We encourage you to inquire about these services if you are interested in learning more.

For more detailed information on pancreatic cancer, potential treatments, or to learn more about our services, please continue reading through our site and see the Resources section below.

Most insurance plans are accepted, and our financial counselor is available to discuss pricing and fees before your first visit. However, all pertinent records must be received by our clinic before your appointments are scheduled so that we may give you our most well-informed recommendations.

Our caring support staff is available by phone to answer questions and schedule consultations. Whether you are newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, exploring further options, or would like a second opinion, the combined expertise of the physician team at Salish Cancer Center is here for you.

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