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PANCREAS CANCER

ANCHOR LEAD:  WHAT’S THE OUTLOOK FOR PEOPLE WITH CANCER OF THE PANCREAS?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Patrick Swayze has gone public with his battle against pancreas cancer, but what is the outlook for people with this form of cancer?  Bill Nelson, director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.

NELSON:  The outlook for pancreas cancer is of course, not nearly as good as we want it to be.  What’s been remarkable about pancreatic cancer is that we are diagnosing it in earlier and earlier stages of disease using CT scan imaging and other types of approaches.  This enables us to treat the disease very aggressively but in a way that actually preserves quality of life better, is a safer form of treatment, and it makes it more applicable.     :25

Nelson says the most common operation for pancreas cancer, known formerly as a Whipple procedure, has undergone substantial modification and improvement.  He says more patients are likely candidates for the operation now than previously, but selecting an experienced surgeon remains the best strategy.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.


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