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Understanding your prognosis

Everyone reacts differently to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Some people want to know whether the cancer can be cured, or how long they have left to live. This is called their prognosis. This will be different for each person, and depends on several things, including whether the cancer has spread, how far it has spread, and the treatments they can have.

Not everyone will want to know this. But if you do, speak to your doctor. They won’t be able to tell you exactly what your prognosis is, but should be able to give you an idea of what to expect. There is a lot of frightening information about pancreatic cancer online, and not all of it is accurate, so it’s important to speak to your doctor.

Cancer Research UK has information about survival and pancreatic cancer, including survival for different stages of pancreatic cancer. But these are general statistics for large groups of people, so they can’t tell you what will happen in your own case.  

Questions to ask 

  • What does my diagnosis mean for my future?
  • What can I expect in the next few weeks, months or years?
  • Can my cancer be cured?

"I think the most difficult aspect of dealing with pancreatic cancer is the uncertainty that inevitably comes with it. But all of this has brought my family closer together."

Find out what your test results mean

Find out about the treatments available for pancreatic cancer

Read more about the services we provide

Published January 2018
To be reviewed January 2020

Information Standard