Thanks to private funding, 100% of every dollar donated to The Lustgarten Foundation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.

Interview with an Expert Series

The Lustgarten Foundation has developed this series of discussion guides featuring a Q & A with a physician or other expert on relevant topics for pancreatic cancer patients, their families, and caregivers.  The guides also provide actionable suggestions and practical advice for managing pancreatic cancer, both physically and emotionally.  Topics featured include pancreatic cancer surgery, pain management, depression/anxiety, nutrition, clinical trials, and treatment options.

Treatment-Related Topics  |  Coping/Managing Your Disease  |  Hereditary Pancreatic Cancer

Coping/Managing Your Disease

Depression/Anxiety
Alan D. Valentine, M.D., and Cindy L. Carmack, Ph.D. address the commonality of depression and anxiety in pancreatic cancer patients. It is thought that biological factors play a major role - hormones, neurochemicals or an immunological response can produce inflammatory cytokines (proteins involved in cell communication) causing changes in a patients emotions leading to depression. Read More…

Cancer Supportive Care
Gayle Jameson, MSN, ACNP-BC, AOCN explains that cancer supportive care is a growing area of research and treatment that focuses on symptoms a patient and his or her family members experience elated to cancer. The primary goal of supportive care is to improve the quality of life of patients who have serious or life threatening disease. Read More…

Caregiving & End-of-Life
Carmen Morales, LCSW-R, discusses the importance of caregivers during a patient’s disease and its stages. She also highlights different aspects of cancer that caregivers should be aware of and how to comfort the patient whether it is physically, emotionally or mentally. Read More… 

Coping With Pancreatic Cancer
Psycho-oncologist Susan D. Block, M.D. explains the difficult task of painting a picture for patients  about their future with pancreatic cancer, and developing coping mechanisms for dealing with this diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. She expresses that establishing a strong support system and a relationship with their doctor to create a “safe space” is extremely important for both the patient and his or her family to cope with this disease. Read More…

Managing Practical Concerns
Keith Lyons,LCSW-R, discusses what a newly diagnosed patient should begin to think about and do. As an oncology social worker, he goes in to details about how crucial it is to have access to the information patients need to live with the diagnosis, and manage the disease. “This does not mean that individuals can necessarily change the course of the illness, but certainly they can do everything within their power to manage the course of their experience.” Read More…

Managing Your New Live After Surgery
Nicole Goetz, MS, APRN-BC, describes the experiences after surgery patients may face in the hospital, after being discharged to the recovery process. Patients may face medical complications, pancreatic insufficiency and insulin-dependent diabetes. In addition, patients usually will have to undergo further therapies to combat the disease. After surgery, for “most patients, recovery includes striving to find a “new normal.” Read More…

Nutrition
Charles S. Fuchs, M.D., M.P.H.,explains the importance of maintaining a well-balanced diet during pancreatic cancer treatment. He provides suggestions for optimizing nutrition and strategies for modifying the diet to minimize the side effects of treatment and improve recovery after surgery. Read More…

Pain
Dr. Kathleen M. Foley and Dr. Vivek T. Malhotra discuss how patients might experience pain from pancreatic cancer and the importance of treating it, developing a pain management plan, and making lifestyle changes that can help ease the pain. Read More…

Depression
Steven D. Passik, Ph.D. explains that people with pancreatic cancer tend to develop depression from both the diagnosis and the cancer itself. Cytokines, which are a group of small proteins secreted by various cell groups and involved in cell-to-cell communication, are produced in response to an immune stimulus and can have a debilitating affect on the body. About 30% of cancer patients will have problems of adjustment or adjustment disorders which are considered reactive depressions. Read More…

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