Januvia Lawsuit Class Action
Patients with type 2 diabetes who are using Januvia (generic name sitagliptin) may be at an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This was one of the findings of a study published in 2011. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer please contact us for the latest Januvia side effects cancer news. There currently is no Januvia lawsuit class action that covers all claims and we are representing individuals and families throughout the United States. Researchers at UCLA compared the incidence rate of the disease among patients using sitagliptin with the corresponding incidence rates among those using one of four control medications. Using adverse event reports submitted to the FDA from 2004 to 2009, they found there was a 2.7-fold risk of Januvia and pancreatic cancer.
Reported cases of cancer stemming from sitagliptin are rare. Most of the attention has thus far been focused on dozens of cases of acute pancreatitis, a serious condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Patients who have developed either disease and suspect Januvia to be the cause are encouraged to contact an experienced Januvia lawsuit attorney to discuss pursuing compensation.
Below, we’ll explain how pancreatic cancer is treated for each of its three developmental categories: resectable, locally advanced unresectable, and metastatic cancer. It is worth noting that this form of cancer is accompanied by one of the highest mortality rates among all types of malignancies.
Treating Resectable Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Side Effects
Removing tumors via surgery provides the best chance for long-term survival. Thus, once the condition has been diagnosed, patients should be screened to determine whether masses in the pancreas qualify for surgical removal. If surgery is an option, the approach used will depend on the location of the tumors.
When the cancer is located within the head of the pancreas – the portion that lies near the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine – the Whipple procedure is performed. Several structures are removed. The surgeon will resect the pancreatic head as well as the gallbladder, duodenum, and a section of the common bile duct. These latter structures are removed due to their close proximity to the pancreas and exposure to diseased cells. Following their removal, the surgeon must reconnect the remaining portions of the small intestine, pancreas, and bile duct.
If the cancer is found in the body or tail of the pancreas, the Whipple procedure cannot be used. Instead, a distal pancreatectomy is performed. This is an operation during which the bottom portion of the pancreas is excised. The remaining border is then sutured to prevent the escape of pancreatic secretions.
Sometimes, tumors are found in both the body and tail of the pancreas. When this is the case, the bottom half of the organ is usually removed, along with the spleen (i.e. splenectomy).
Treating Locally Advanced Unresectable Pancreatic Cancer
This stage of development is defined by the spread of cancer cells beyond the pancreas into nearby structures, but not to distant sites. It corresponds to stage III pancreatic cancer. Because the disease often develops without symptoms, a large number of cases are detected after it has reached this point of metastasis.
Surgery is no longer a curative option, though it may be performed to help relieve certain symptoms (e.g. back pain). Instead, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are administered. The former is introduced as a systemic treatment; the drugs used spread throughout the body via the bloodstream. The latter therapy is more targeted; the radiation treatments are directed at the sites of tumor growth.
Occasionally, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can shrink a tumor to the point that it may be removed with surgery. But more commonly, both are given to eliminate diseased cells.
Treating Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer
Januvia pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to distant sites of the body can only be cured with chemotherapy. Radiation treatments may be given, but are limited in use to shrinking tumors. This stage of development is loosely defined as stage IV pancreatic cancer. The disease may have, by this point, reached the liver, lungs, bones, and brain.
Very few patients with such an advanced form of the disease make a full recovery. Only a small percentage survive longer than twelve months after treatment. The average length of survival is approximately six months. Much depends on the patient’s strength and the aggressiveness of the cancer.
Many patients who have used Januvia and were subsequently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer claim Merck & Co. failed to adequately inform them of the risk. If Merck is legally responsible for the injuries caused by its medication, they should held accountable for them.
If you used Januvia, and later developed pancreatic cancer or acute pancreatitis, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced Januvia lawsuit pancreatic cancer lawyer to discuss your case. We are representing individual and families in bringing claims against the manufacturer. There is currently not a national Januvia lawsuit class action in the United States.