Treatment for pancreatic cancer

This is about treatment for exocrine pancreatic cancer. This is the most common type of pancreatic cancer. 

The main treatments for pancreatic cancer include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. Your treatment depends on the position of the cancer in the pancreas, the type of pancreatic cancer it is, whether it has spread, if they can remove it with surgery and your general health.

Your doctor and other healthcare professionals discuss the best treatment and care for you.

For information about treatment for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours follow the below link. 

Preparing for treatment and life afterwards (prehabilitation)

There are things you can do to help you feel more in control of your physical and mental health when preparing for treatment. In the hospital, preparing for treatment is also called prehabilitation or prehab.

Treatment options for pancreatic cancer

The main treatments for pancreatic cancer include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and treatment to control symptoms. Find out how your doctor decides which treatment you can have.

Surgery for pancreatic cancer

The type of surgery you have depends on where the cancer is in your pancreas. Find out about the different types of surgery for pancreatic cancer, what happens before surgery and what to expect afterwards.

Chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer

Chemotherapy is one of the main treatments for pancreatic cancer. Find out about when you might have it, the types of chemotherapy drugs,  how you have it and possible side effects.

Radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer

Radiotherapy uses high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. You may have it on its own or with chemotherapy (chemoradiotherapy). Find out about the different types of radiotherapy and when you might have it.

Controlling symptoms of advanced pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Find out about treatments to control the symptoms of advanced pancreatic cancer and what you can do to help yourself.

Targeted cancer drugs and immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer

Doctors may use targeted cancer drugs or immunotherapy to help treat pancreatic cancer. Find out what these treatments are, and how and when you might have them.

Follow up after treatment for pancreatic cancer

You'll have follow up appointments and tests after treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Last reviewed: 
31 Mar 2023
Next review due: 
31 Mar 2026