From the moment your dad gets a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, he’ll work closely with his doctors on treatment options. It’s a challenging form of cancer as the symptoms don’t appear until it’s started to spread, so he is going to need a lot of support, and skilled nursing care services are something your family has to consider.
Treatment Options and How Skilled Nurses Help
What are the different treatment options?
One of the first considerations is whether your dad will need surgery. Part or all of the pancreas will be surgically removed. Sometimes, blood vessels in the pancreas are also surgically repaired if the tumor affected them.
No matter which surgery is recommended, your dad will have an incision to take care of. Bleeding and infection are risks following surgery. And, some people experience a lot of nausea and vomiting after having their pancreas removed.
Your dad may need IV fluids and infusions of essential nutrients and minerals. Skilled nurses can set up IV lines, fluids, infusions, and medications at his home.
If the tumor is small and hasn’t spread outside of the pancreas, chemotherapy is often recommended to kill the cancerous cells. It’s given through an injection or prescription pill.
Your dad’s oncologist may also recommend chemotherapy as a secondary measure to kill any cancerous cells that may have been overlooked or to prolong life if the cancer is in an advanced stage.
Chemotherapy treatments may be allowed to take place at your dad’s home, where he’s most comfortable. If they are, it’s best to have a skilled nurse there to watch for any troubling side effects like severe nausea. The nurse can consult with your dad’s doctor to determine what to do to make him comfortable.
Radiation treatments use a powerful laser to kill cancer cells. It’s often used before surgery, during surgery, or in cases where surgery isn’t recommended. It will take place at a hospital or specialized cancer clinic.
Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and skin issues like blisters, swelling, and sunburn-like qualities. Skilled nurses can help your dad when these symptoms occur by administering medications and offering wound care.
Other Areas of Skilled Nursing Care to Consider
Pancreatic cancer is one of the more challenging cancers with an average five-year survival rate of 12%. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the better the chances of beating it. The amount of support your dad gets also helps him during this battle.
If he has consistent access to someone for emotional and medical support, he’s going to find it easier to get through the challenges. Skilled nursing care provides him with the help he needs on the days he’s feeling nauseous and can’t stop throwing up. Skilled nurses can administer the fluids and infusions he needs to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.
Arrange skilled nursing care as soon as you can. The more support your dad has during his cancer treatments, the easier it is for him emotionally and physically.