Stage IV is the final stage of pancreatic cancer. It is indicated by the spread of cancer to distant sites, according to Texas Oncology, and it is characterized by involvement of the lungs, liver or adjacent organs such as the spleen or stomach or may spread to the bowel.
Stage IV pancreatic cancer is usually only classified as such following the completion of surgery. This stage of cancer can be further divided into two groups: stage IVA and stage IVB. Stage IVA pancreatic cancer is confined locally but involves adjacent blood vessels or organs, so its location hinders surgical removal. Other terms used for stage IVA pancreatic cancer include locally advanced or localized pancreatic cancer. By contrast, stage IVB pancreatic cancer has spread to distant organs beyond the pancreas; this stage most typically involves the liver. Stage IVB pancreatic cancer is metastatic cancer, according to Texas Oncology.
Treatment approaches for stage IVA and stage IVB pancreatic cancers vary by patient, but most stage IVA pancreatic cancer is treated by inducing remission, while stage IVB treatment plans generally only look to control symptoms and pain. Most stage IV pancreatic tumors cannot be removed surgically. For this reason, Texas Oncology states that pancreatic cancer at this stage is rarely curable and usually hard to control.Learn More
End stage pancreatic cancer is an advanced tumor of the pancreas that cannot be cured, as Cancer Research UK explains. However, a doctor may recommend treatment options to manage the condition. Management of advanced pancreatic cancer is meant to slow its growth and ease symptoms. According to National Cancer Institute, end-of-life care for cancer patients aims to control pain, nausea and shortness of breath.Full Answer >
According to the National Cancer Institute, stage four pancreatic cancer is when the cancer has spread from the pancreas to organs such as the lungs, liver and peritoneal cavity. The cancer may also have spread to the tissues and the lymph nodes. According to the National Cancer Institute, some of the risk factors of pancreatic cancer include smoking, diabetes and family history.Full Answer >
The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is approximately 62 percent for 6 months after diagnosis and 31 percent for one year after initial diagnosis, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The rate decreases dramatically after one year, with a survival rate of 10 percent after two years.Full Answer >
As of 2015, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy are the treatments available for pancreatic cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. The treatment chosen depends on the stage at which the cancer is detected and diagnosed and the patient's age, general health and preferences.Full Answer >