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Is surgery an option to help relieve pancreatic cancer pain?

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If medicine isn't helping to relieve your pancreatic cancer pain, your doctor may suggest surgery. There are several types of procedures.

One option is an alcohol nerve block. A surgeon injects alcohol into the nerves that carry pain sensations near your pancreas. This numbs them and can give you relief for 3 to 4 months.

In another procedure, called a

thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy, a doctor cuts specific nerve branches to give you pain relief. It's a new method, and while results show promise, it's unclear how long the benefits last.

Your doctor may also suggest a procedure called an endoscopic ultrasound-guided celiac plexus nerve block. A surgeon threads a needle through your stomach using a thin, lighted tube called an endoscope. Then they put medication into nearby nerves to relieve pain.

One other option for pain relief is external beam radiation therapy. A doctor directs radiation beams at the tumor to ease pain.

SOURCES:

Digestive Diseases & Sciences: "Pain in patients with pancreatic cancer: prevalence, mechanisms, management and future developments."

American Cancer Society: "Signs & Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer."

Johns Hopkins: "Pancreatic Cancer Pain Management."

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance: "Managing Pain in Pancreatic Cancer."

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: "Exercise as medicine in the management of pancreatic cancer: a case study."

Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing : "A Systematic Review: Mindfulness Intervention for Cancer-Related Pain."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Cancer Pain and Other Side Effects?"

Columbia University Irving Medical Center: "Coping with Cancer and How CBT Can Help."

Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology : "Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Patients With Cancer."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 21, 2020

SOURCES:

Digestive Diseases & Sciences: "Pain in patients with pancreatic cancer: prevalence, mechanisms, management and future developments."

American Cancer Society: "Signs & Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer."

Johns Hopkins: "Pancreatic Cancer Pain Management."

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance: "Managing Pain in Pancreatic Cancer."

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: "Exercise as medicine in the management of pancreatic cancer: a case study."

Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing : "A Systematic Review: Mindfulness Intervention for Cancer-Related Pain."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Cancer Pain and Other Side Effects?"

Columbia University Irving Medical Center: "Coping with Cancer and How CBT Can Help."

Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology : "Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Patients With Cancer."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 21, 2020

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Can complementary treatments help relieve pain from pancreatic cancer?

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