Cancer Patients

The Despite potential for prolonging survival with treatment, so one third of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer do not see a medical oncologist, and even more do not receive cancer direct treatment, find new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas an organ in your abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help manage your blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly to nearby organs.

High death rate

Pancreatic cancer has a high death rate and is often diagnose in advance stages. The data suggest that there are many miss opportunities for important discussions between patients and cancer specialists. We have better chemotherapy drugs than in the past, but those standards of care aren’t reaching patients.

Spreading the reach of the standards of care, starting with a consultation with a medical oncologist; would have a big impact. Dr. Natalie Coburn, author of the study and a surgical oncologist; so at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

The study looked at data on 10 881 patients with a new diagnosis; so of advance pancreatic cancer in Ontario from 2005 to 2016; also examine how many people saw a medical oncologist and how many receive treatment after consultation. About 65% of patients had a consultation with a medical oncologist; also 38% of all patients receive cancer direct treatment.

Cancer direct treatment

More than half of patients who did not receive cancer direct treatment; so did not have a medical oncology consult. By contrast, about 80% to 90% of patients with colorectal cancer see a medical oncologist and undergo treatment for the disease. The study aims to raise awareness of this issue for pancreas and other high fatality cancers.

We want to debunk the idea that it’s ‘not worth treating’ pancreas cancer. They want more people to access a medical oncologist so that they can have inform discussions about treatment options; symptom management and palliative care. They could achieve better results by getting more people to an oncologist and better access to best practice treatments right now than with new and often expensive experimental drugs in the future.

The authors suggest that changes to health policies are necessary to ensure all patients have equal opportunities for assessment and treatment. We also want to raise awareness amongst policy makers about gaps in the health care system. Low rates of specialize cancer consultation and cancer direct therapy for incurable pancreatic adenocarcinoma: a population base analysis” is publish May 27, 2019.