- Surgery to remove pancreatic cancer is the best treatment for people with pancreatic cancer that has not spread outside the pancreas . It can help people live longer.
- Pancreatic cancer surgery is only suitable for people who are fit and well enough to have the operation, and if there is no sign the cancer has spread.
- There are different types of surgery, depending on where the cancer is. The Whipple’s operation is the most common type.
- If the cancer is close to major blood vessels, you may be offered chemotherapy before surgery, sometimes with radiotherapy. This may shrink the cancer so that surgery is then possible.
- Both the cancer itself and removing part of the pancreas may cause problems with digesting food, fatigue (extreme tiredness) and diabetes. Your medical team can help manage these problems.
- You may be offered chemotherapy after surgery, as long as you are well enough. This is to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back.
- It usually takes at least a few months to recover after surgery to remove pancreatic cancer, and sometimes longer. This is different for everyone.
Talk to your medical team about any worries or questions you have. You and your family can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.