Pancreatic Cancer Overview

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

What are some questions I can ask my doctor about pancreatic cancer?

As you cope with cancer and its treatment, you need to have honest, open talks with your doctor. Feel free to ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Be sure to add your own questions as you think of them.

  • Would you please write down the exact kind of cancer I have?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the pancreas?
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Can the cancer be removed (resected) with surgery?
  • Do I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Do I need to see other kinds of doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Should I get a second opinion? Can you recommend a doctor or cancer center?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What is the goal of the treatment?
  • How is treatment likely to help me?
  • What risks or side effects might I expect? How long are they likely to last?
  • Will treatment affect how I eat?
  • How would treatment affect my daily life?
  • Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
  • How soon do I need to start treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • What would my options be if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
  • Where can I find more information and support?

Keep in mind that doctors are not the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers to some of your questions. For more about speaking with your health care team, see our document Talking With Your Doctor.

Last Medical Review: 08/01/2014
Last Revised: 02/01/2016