Your local specialist centre
In the UK anyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer should have their case reviewed at a cancer centre where there is a specialist team to assess and treat the disease. In particular, national guidelines state that surgery should only be carried out in specialist centres that see a high volume of pancreatic cancer patients. Research has shown that this gives patients the best outcomes.
These centres have been set up across the UK on a regional basis. Hospitals in a region work together with the specialist centres to try to ensure the best treatment and care for all patients.
Patients may not have to attend the specialist centre. Tests and investigations are often done at local hospitals and chemotherapy treatment can be given there too. Wherever a patient is treated, the specialist centre should always be involved in assessment and treatment decisions. Your doctor can answer any questions you may have about which specialist centre is involved in your care and explain the decisions made by the specialist team.
Local hospitals may not always be involved in running clinical trials or offer all the trials available at the specialist centre, so patients taking part in clinical trials may also have their treatment at the specialist centre.
You can access a list of hospitals with specialist pancreatic teams below.
You can compare hospitals providing care for pancreatic cancer using the My Cancer Treatment website. The site contains detailed reports on the quality of service at different hospitals and allows you to compare services.
Who will I be treated by?
You will be cared for by several different healthcare experts known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT).
Once all your investigations have been carried out your specialist team will meet to discuss the results with their colleagues. This MDT meeting will include doctors from the x-ray, pathology, surgery, medical and oncology departments and specialist nurses. Everyone will use their expert knowledge to review your case and agree on the best treatment options for you.
You will be given a main contact, or key worker, who will usually be a specialist nurse (either a hepatobiliary or upper gastrointestinal cancer nurse specialist). It's their role to report back to you from the MDT and they will be the person you liaise with most.
Finding your local specialist centre
This section contains details of hospitals that have pancreatic cancer specialist teams by region. Where available, links have been provided to hospital websites and information on the teams and centres treating pancreatic cancer.
These services may be called HPB (hepatopancreaticobiliary) centres as the same specialists may work with people affected by pancreatic, liver, gallbladder and bile duct cancers.
Published November 2013
Review date November 2015