Know Everything About Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in India

The cost of Pancreatic cancer treatment in India starts from 7500 USD that includes 31 days of stay in India for two travelers – the patient and accompanying relative. 

Pancreatic Cancer is the third leading cause of death due to cancer after lung and colon.

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

The pancreas is one of the important endocrine organs in the abdomen that produces enzymes to help to digest carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Also, the pancreas produces two important hormones: glucagon and insulin. While glucagon helps in controlling glucose metabolism, insulin helps in maintaining glucose levels in the body.

Pancreatic cancer occurs in the tissues of the pancreas. Due to the location of the pancreas behind the stomach, it becomes difficult to diagnose cancer at an early stage. That’s why it is mostly diagnosed at advanced stages. 

What is acute pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas. It can also spread to the nearby blood vessels. In pancreatitis, the pancreas loses its ability to produce enzymes that helps in digestion. Consequently, the gland starts digesting itself continuously and thus, fails to carry out normal functions. 

Pancreatic Cancer and pancreatitis almost share the same signs and symptoms such as abdominal/back pain, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, etc.

What causes pancreatitis?

Gallstones are the main cause of pancreatitis. Further, causes of pancreatitis also include:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Stomach infections
  • Medications
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Trauma

What are the early warning signs of Pancreatic Cancer?

Most often, pancreatic cancer does not show any signs until it has reached its ad

pancreatic cancer symptoms

vanced stage. However, if you may feel the following signs:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Jaundice, yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes
  • Lower back pain
  • Blood clots
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itchy skin
  • Disturbance in mental status such as mood swings, depression, fatigue, lethargy

Consult your doctor to discuss these symptoms.

What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?

Normally, cancer occurs when the production of abnormal cells is higher and uncontrollable than the growth of healthy cells within the organ and form tumors. However, the underlying cause is still unknown. The same happens in pancreatic cancer aspancreatic cancer causes well. While experimentations are still ongoing about finding the cause of the changes in the cells, they have concluded some factors that are responsible for the cause of developing this cancer such as inherited gene mutations. 

Pancreatic Cancer Stages and Survival Rates

When the doctor senses that you may have pancreatic cancer symptoms, he may likely perform evaluation tests such as blood tests or imaging tests, PET scan to identify the presence of cancer and its growth.

Also, these tests are helpful in understanding cancer’s stage like how advanced it is. This helps doctors in deciding treatment options.

Stage Severity
Stage 1 In pancreas only
Stage 2 To nearby lymph nodes
Stage 3 To distant blood vessels and lymph nodes
Stage 4 To other organs including the liver or lungs

A survival rate is a measure in percentage that helps in predicting how many people diagnosed with cancer’s same type and stage are alive after a particular time period. Although these numbers may not be accurate every time, they may still be helpful in gauging the successful treatment for cancer.

In most cases, the survival rate is calculated as a five-year percentage.

Stages Five-year percentage
Localized pancreatic cancer (Stage 0,1,and 2) 34 percent
Regional pancreatic cancer (Stage 2 and 3) 12 percent
Distant pancreatic cancer (stage 4) 3 percent

What are the treatment options for Pancreatic Cancer?

The treatment aims at killing cancerous cells and preventing their outspread. There are different treatment options available to treat pancreatic cancer that is likely to be decided by your doctor after evaluating the stage. Different options are:


Location and stage of the cancer are two important factors that decide whether cancer requires surgical treatment or not. There are different surgical options to treat pancreatic cancer depending on cancer’s stage and severity.
– If the cancer is in the head of the pancreas, your doctor may recommend a Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy). This procedure removes the head of the pancreas, duodenum, gallbladder, part of the bile duct, and nearby lymph nodes in addition to some parts of the stomach and colon.
– A distal pancreatectomy to remove the left side of the pancreas. Also, your surgeon may remove the spleen.
– A total pancreatectomy to remove the whole of the pancreas.
– When the tumor has affected the nearby blood vessels, a team of surgeons may consider pancreatic surgery operations to remove and reconstruct affected blood vessels. 

Radiation Therapy

This therapeutic treatment applies when cancer spreads outside the pancreas. It comprises highly energized beams and X-rays to kill cancerous cells.


Chemotherapy is a treatment option that uses anti-cancer drugs to kill cancerous cells. In some cases, your doctor may perform chemotherapy in combination with other treatments.

Targeted Therapy

This therapy uses anti-cancer drugs to target and kills cancerous cells. Moreover, these drugs do not harm nearby healthy cells. 

Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis

In recent years, the survival rates of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have drastically improved because of clinical trials and advanced treatments. 

Somehow the disease is difficult to cure as it does not show any signs until it reaches an advanced stage or the degree of metastasized is quite high. Hence, these factors make pancreatic cancer difficult to treat. 

Combining preventive measures with conventional treatments may help improve the quality of life. 

Diagnosis and Early Detection: Pancreatic Cancer

As discussed above, pancreatic cancer does not show symptoms at first. However, if you experience any symptoms that keep on recurring, it’s time to consult your doctor immediately to avoid any further delays. 

After analyzing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may perform one or more tests to diagnose pancreatic cancer, such as:

  • Imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans to have a complete detailed view of the pancreas
  • An endoscopic ultrasound by inserting a thin tube with a camera at one end down to the stomach to get a clear picture of the pancreas
  • Biopsy by extracting a sample tissue of the pancreas
  • Blood test to identify the presence of CA 19-9.

Pancreatic Cancer Potential Risk Factors

Certain factors that may increase your chance of developing pancreatic cancer faster are as follows:

  • Smoke, nearly 30 percent of cancer cases are due to consumption of cancer-causing substances
  • Being obese
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Diabetes
  • Serious liver disorders
  • Chronic or acute pancreatitis
  • Genetics or family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Eat fat-rich foods
  • Your routine does not involve physical activity

If you have a family history of pancreatic cancer, it will definitely increase your chances of developing pancreatic cancer. So, consult your doctor immediately as soon as you experience any symptoms.

Pancreatic Cancer: Types, Common, Rare, & More!

There are mainly two types of pancreatic cancer that exists:

Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
This type of cancer occurs in the exocrine cells of the pancreas that are majorly responsible for making pancreatic enzymes for food digestion.

Approximately 95 percent of pancreatic cancers are pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs)

This is a rare type of pancreatic tumor that develops in the endocrine cells of the pancreas responsible for making hormones, the ones that help to manage the blood sugar levels. 

Prevention of Pancreatic Tumor

Can pancreatic cancer be prevented? Yes. Like any disease, there are ways to prevent pancreatic cancer as well. They are:

Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the reasons responsible for the cause of cancer including pancreatic cancer. Therefore, if you smoke, quit. Discuss with your doctor and ask for quitting therapies, for instance, support groups, nicotine replacement therapy, or medications.

Avoid Alcohol: Consumption of heavy alcohol may increase the chances of acute pancreatitis and consequently, pancreatic cancer.

Watch your diet and weight: Being obese is one of the causes responsible for the onset of any type of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight and doing regular physical activity may lower your chances of cancer. Say strict ‘No’ to processed foods, red meats, or sugary drinks. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains in your diet. Drink plenty of water and follow a regular exercise routine.

Avoiding exposure to certain chemicals: If your workplace has exposure to certain chemicals, try to avoid them as much as you can.

In addition to the above-mentioned factors, there are some factors that can’t be controlled, namely, family history, age, gender, or race. 

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in India

There are several countries in the world that are well-known for their medical tourism services and India ranks well amongst these countries.

Out of all 36 JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited hospitals, MGM Healthcare, MIOT Hospital, Fortis network are some well-known hospitals for pancreatic cancer treatment in India due to their reduced treatment costs, refined infrastructure, medical personnel, and other paramedics staff. 


Top Pancreatic Surgeons In India

Dr. Ashok Mehta, Dr. Arun Behl, Dr. Sudip Chakrabarty, Dr. K. Ravindranath are some highly experienced, qualified surgical oncologists known for pancreatic cancer treatment in India

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