Pancreatic cancer can be a terrifying diagnosis, and often it’s preceded by vague symptoms. However, there are advances being made in diagnosis and in surgical approaches that can make a big difference when it comes to treatment. In this episode of Patient Power sponsored by UCSF Medical Center, you’ll hear from Dr. Kimberly Kirkwood as she discuss the latest advances that are extending the lives of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Kirkwood is a Pancreatic Cancer Specialist and gastrointestinal surgeon at UCSF Medical Center.
Dr. Kirkwood begins by talking about tools used to diagnosis pancreatic cancer, such as blood tests, PET and CT scans, and other imaging devices. She then goes into a deeper discussion of increasing survival rates through early detection and treatment. Dr. Kirkwood speaks about treatments, including surgical techniques, like the whipple procedure, that are showing promise. She also talks about the team approach to treatment - partnering with other specialists in the community to treat patients and return them to their lifestyle post-recovery.
Dr. Kirkwood closes the discussion with optimism. She discusses UCSF as a research institution and the advances being made there that give her so much hope. To quote Dr. Kirkwood “I think the next ten years are going to be a new era for pancreatic cancer. We’ve learned a lot from the advances in breast cancer and colon cancer therapy in the last decade, and I think this will be the decade in which we apply that knowledge to pancreatic cancer. I expect that our cure rates will improve dramatically in the next decade.”
Kimberly Kirkwood, M.D.
Gastrointestinal Surgeon and Pancreatic Cancer Specialist, UCSF Medical CenterDr. Kimberly Kirkwood is a gastrointestinal surgeon specializing in the treatment of pancreatic cancer as as well as tumors of the stomach, spleen, gallbladder, bile duct and gastrointestinal tract. She is a skillful laparoscopic surgeon, an expert in applying minimally invasive techniques to treat abdominal tumors and has a particular interest in improving outcomes for patients after pancreas surgery. Her... more >