End of life care for pancreatic cancer

If you have been told that your pancreatic cancer can no longer be treated and that you are approaching the last few months or weeks of your life, this may have come as a huge shock. You may have lots of questions or concerns. The information here can help.

We explain the symptoms people with pancreatic cancer may get towards the end of their life and how these are managed. There is also information about how to get the care and support you might need. And there is information for family, friends and carers.

You may find some of this information upsetting or difficult to read. Not all of it may be relevant to you at the moment – use the links below to find the information you need.

Questions about end of life care?

If you have any questions, speak to your doctor or nurse.

You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our confidential Support Line. This can be a very difficult time, and they can answer your questions and talk through any worries you may have. They can also support families and carers.

Speak to our nurses
A specialist nurse taking a phone call.

Read our booklet about end of life care

To read more about end of life care, download our booklet, Pancreatic cancer and end of life care: information for people in the last months, weeks and days of life.

You can also order a physical copy.

Order our booklet
An image of the front cover of Pancreatic Cancer UK's booklet, End of Life Care

Coronavirus and end of life care

The information in this section was written before coronavirus. We have detailed information for family members caring for someone at end of life care during coronavirus. This will help you get the care and support you need at this difficult time, and is based on national coronavirus guidance.

Pancreatic cancer and end of life care during coronavirus

References and acknowledgements


Email us at publications@pancreaticcancer.org.uk for references to the sources of information used to write this information.


We would like to thank the following people who reviewed our information about end of life care.

  • Lindsey Allan, Macmillan Oncology Dietitian, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford
  • Marie Cooper, Practice Development Lead, Hospice UK
  • Sarah Galbraith, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Cambridge University Hospitals, Addenbrooke’s Hospital
  • Usha Grieve, Director of Partnerships and Information, Compassion in Dying
  • Jonathan Hartley, Accredited counsellor, supervisor, trainer, consultant Rixon Therapy Services
  • Kate Ibbeson, Lay Member of Hospice UK’s People in Partnership Group
  • Yvonne Martin, Director of Nursing, Foyle Hospice, Londonderry
  • Miriam Mckeown, Hospice Manager, Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast
  • Ollie Minton, Macmillan Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sam Mathews, Staff Nurse, Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Stoke on Trent
  • Jennifer Noel, Information and Partnerships Lead, Compassion in Dying
  • Patricia O’Connor, Macmillan Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, North West Cancer Centre, Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry
  • Rebecca Owen, Specialist Trainee in Palliative Medicine, Yorkshire and Humber Deanery
  • Ganesh Radhakrishna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Adrian Tookman, Specialist Palliative Medicine, Clinical Director Marie Curie, Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead
  • Jason Ward, Senior Clinical Lecturer, Academic Unit of Palliative Care, University of Leeds and St Gemma’s Hospice, Leeds
  • Phil Wilkins, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Priscilla Bacon Centre for Specialist Palliative Care, Norwich
  • Staff from the Ellenor Lions Hospices, Kent
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK Information Volunteers
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK Specialist Nurses

Published March 2018

Review date March 2020