Surgery to remove pancreatic cancer is a long and difficult procedure, so it’s good to know that you have an option: the minimally invasive NanoKnife® procedure. Robert Donoway, MD, FACS, at Atlas Oncology is one of only a few experts offering NanoKnife irreversible electroporation (IRE), which safely destroys the cancerous tumor without harming the surrounding structures. To learn more about this cutting-edge treatment for pancreatic cancer, call the office in Hollywood, Florida, or book an appointment online.
Your pancreas is located behind your stomach, where it serves several vital functions. Exocrine cells produce digestive enzymes that are released into the small intestine after you eat. Most pancreatic cancers originate in the exocrine cells.
Your pancreas also contains endocrine cells that secrete essential hormones like insulin, which regulates sugar metabolism. Only 5% of all pancreatic cancers develop in endocrine cells.
Pancreatic cancer seldom causes symptoms in an early stage. As the tumor gets larger, you may experience problems such as:
Pain in your back or abdomen may occur when the cancer tumor gets large enough to press against nearby organs. In some cases, the cancer may spread to nerves, which also causes pain.
Your treatment is determined by the tumor’s size and location and whether the cancer has spread. Your overall health must also be considered when open surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are considered.
Depending on all of these factors, you may undergo surgery to remove the tumor. Chemotherapy may be used alone or together with surgery, while some patients may receive radiation after surgery.
When your pancreatic cancer doesn’t respond to chemotherapy, or it’s inoperable, you still have hope thanks to the NanoKnife® procedure offered by Dr. Donoway.
The NanoKnife is a medical device that uses long, thin, needle-like electrodes to destroy pancreatic cancer. Dr. Donoway precisely places the needles around the tumor, then they’re activated to send out electrical signals. As a result, an electric field is created around the tumor that destroys cancer cells while leaving the vital tissues around the tumor unharmed.
The NanoKnife procedure doesn’t require a surgical incision. It causes less pain than other treatment options, and your recovery is quicker. Down the road, you can have a repeat NanoKnife treatment, if needed, because it doesn’t cause scarring.
Dr. Donoway is one of only a handful of experts in the country using the NanoKnife procedure. To learn whether it’s an option for your pancreatic cancer, call Atlas Oncology or book an appointment online.