- What is cancer?
- What is pancreatic cancer?
- What are the key statistics about pancreatic cancer?
- What are the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?
- Do we know what causes pancreatic cancer?
- Can pancreatic cancer be prevented?
- Can pancreatic cancer be found early?
- Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer
- How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?
- How is pancreatic cancer staged?
- Pancreatic cancer survival by stage
- How is pancreatic cancer treated?
- Surgery for pancreatic cancer
- Ablation or embolization treatments for pancreatic cancer
- Radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer
- Chemotherapy and other drugs for pancreatic cancer
- Pain control in pancreatic cancer
- Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for pancreatic cancer
- Treating pancreatic cancer by stage
- More treatment information for pancreatic cancer
- What should you ask your doctor about pancreatic cancer?
- What happens after treatment for pancreatic cancer?
- Lifestyle changes after pancreatic cancer
- How might having pancreatic cancer affect your emotional health?
- If treatment for pancreatic cancer stops working
- What’s new in pancreatic cancer research and treatment?
- Additional resources for pancreatic cancer
- References: Pancreatic cancer detailed guide
How is pancreatic cancer treated?
General treatment information
After the cancer is found and staged, your cancer care team will discuss treatment options with you. It is important that you take time to think about your choices. You will want to weigh the benefits of each treatment option against the possible risks and side effects. In choosing a treatment plan, two of the main factors to consider are whether or not the cancer can be removed (resected) with surgery and your overall health.
The main types of treatment for pancreatic cancer are:
Pain control is also an important part of treatment for many patients.
Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, some of these treatments may be combined.
Doctors on your cancer treatment team might include:
- A surgeon: a doctor who uses surgery to treat cancers or other problems
- An endocrinologist: a doctor who treats diseases in glands that secrete hormones
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who uses chemotherapy and other medicines to treat cancer
Many other specialists might be part of your treatment team as well, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and other health professionals. See Health Professionals Associated With Cancer Care for more on this.
It is important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. It’s also very important to ask questions if there is anything you’re not sure about. You can find some good questions to ask in the section “What should you ask your doctor about pancreatic cancer?”
The next few sections describe the different types of treatment for pancreatic cancer. This is followed by a discussion of the most common treatments for pancreatic cancer by stage.
Last Medical Review: 06/11/2014
Last Revised: 01/09/2015