Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) replaces the enzymes that your pancreas would normally make.
The enzymes come in capsules that you take with food. These help you to digest your food by breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins in your food. Most people with pancreatic cancer will need to take PERT.
All pancreatic enzymes are made from pork products, and there is no alternative. You may see vegetarian enzymes in shops or online, but these are not used for pancreatic cancer as there is no evidence that they work. Organisations representing Jewish and Muslim communities have said that pork based treatments are acceptable to use. The Vegetarian Society and Vegan Society have also said that they are acceptable. Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you are allergic to pork products or have concerns about taking enzymes.
If you need PERT, you will need to take it for the rest of your life as your pancreas will not start making enzymes again.
If you haven’t been told about pancreatic enzymes, ask your doctor, nurse or dietitian about them. You could show them this webpage.