Once you've had cancer, it becomes a major part of your medical history. Make sure to get a copy of your cancer treatment records. That way, you can share the information with any doctors you see, now and in the future.
Should a potentially cancer-related problem develop later on, the medical document can offer doctors valuable clues, says Mary McCabe, RN, MA, director of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Cancer Survivorship Program. "To know that you had a drug that causes neuropathy or that can be damaging to the heart is extremely important. To know that you had radiation to an area of your shoulder may explain why you have limited range of motion."
This summary provides information about the treatment of exocrine pancreatic cancer. Other PDQ summaries containing information related to cancer in the pancreas include the following:
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (Islet Cell Tumors) Treatment.
Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (pancreatic cancer during childhood).
Incidence and Mortality
Estimated new cases and deaths from pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2014:
New cases: 46,420.
Consider sending a copy of your medical records to a trusted relative outside of your area, too. Be sure to send updates on important medical developments so that the file stays current. That way, if you lose your medical records to fire, theft, or natural disaster, you'll have a backup copy.
SOURCES: Mary McCabe, RN, MA, director, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Cancer Survivorship Program. "Cancer Facts," National Cancer Institute. "Getting Medical Care After Cancer Treatment," National Cancer Institute.