Treatment options for people with cancer of the pancreas are surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy. You may receive one or a combination of these types of treatment. The treatment that’s right for you depends mainly on the location of the tumor in your pancreas, whether the disease has spread and your age and general health.
At this time, cancer of the pancreas can be cured only when it’s found at an early stage (before it has spread) and only if surgery can completely remove the tumor. For people who can’t have surgery, other treatments may be able to help them live longer and feel better. You should have a team of specialists to help plan your treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat cancer of the pancreas include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and gastroenterologists. Your health care team may also include an oncology nurse, a palliative care team, or another pain control specialist, as well as a registered dietitian.
Your health care team can describe your treatment choices, the expected results of each, and the possible side effects. Together you and your health care team can develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.