NICE guideline 5: Managing pain and pancreatic cancer
5.1 A treatment called a coeliac plexus nerve block to manage pain should be considered if you:
- have pain that isn’t controlled or
- have a lot of side effects from opioid painkillers or
- need increasing doses of painkillers.
Read more about pain and pancreatic cancer.
5.2 People with pancreatic cancer pain shouldn’t be offered a treatment called thoracic splanchnicectomy.
This treats pain by cutting the nerves that send pain messages from the pancreas to the brain, as they pass through the chest. It has been used in the past to treat pancreatic cancer pain, but there is not much evidence that it helps.
Read other sections of the NICE guidelines for pancreatic cancer:
- Specialist pancreatic multidisciplinary teams
- Working out how far the cancer has spread (staging)
- Emotional (psychological) support
- Managing diet and nutrition
- Relieving a blocked bile duct or duodenum
- Managing resectable (operable) and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer
- Managing pancreatic cancer that can’t be removed with surgery (inoperable or unresectable cancer)
Published: August 2018
Review date: August 2020