The evidence-based treatment plan your doctors choose is based on a number of factors: type of cancer, grade and stage of the cancer, your overall health, and your treatment preferences.
There are several surgical options for pancreatic cancer, and your doctor will determine which is best for you.
- Whipple Procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy): Removal of the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), the gallbladder, and part of the bile duct; may include part of the stomach and nearby lymph nodes. The remaining parts of your pancreas, stomach and intestines are reconnected so food can be digested.
- Distal Pancreatectomy: Removal of the body and tail of the pancreas.
- Total Pancreatectomy: Removal of entire pancreas. Patients who have this surgery need to take insulin and enzymes for the rest of their lives.
Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer may not be eligible for a Whipple Procedure or other pancreatic surgeries. This is because the tumors may involve nearby blood vessels, making it too dangerous to remove the tumor surgically.
Chemotherapy for pancreatic cancers involves the use of medications to shrink or kill cancerous cells. In the case of pancreatic cancer, chemotherapy may be given before or after surgery or in combination with radiation. It can also be used to control tumor growth and prolong life in more advanced cases of pancreatic cancer.
The board-certified medical oncologists, nurses, and technicians at Connecticut Oncology Group provide the most effective, advanced care with warm, personal attention and support for patients and their families. Your medical oncology team will work closely with your other providers and help provide access to clinical trials.
Radiation oncology is the highly-controlled use of radiation to cure or treat symptoms of your cancer.
Learn more about radiation therapy options at Middlesex