Can I have surgery to remove my cancer?
If your cancer is at an early stage and hasn’t spread outside the pancreas, surgery to remove the cancer is the best treatment. This is called resectable or operable pancreatic cancer.
If the cancer has started to grow very close to the main blood vessels near the pancreas, it may also be possible to remove the cancer. But this depends on which blood vessels are affected and also on how far the cancer has grown. This is called borderline resectable cancer. You may be offered chemotherapy to try to shrink the cancer and make surgery possible.
Read more about who can have surgery.
Surgery to remove pancreatic cancer is a big operation, and you will need to be fit enough to have it. As with any big operation, there are some risks, such as getting an infection – read more about the risks.
Speak to your doctor or nurse about whether surgery is an option for you, and whether you will have chemotherapy.
What if I can’t have surgery?
Sometimes the surgeon may start the operation, but find that it’s not possible to remove the cancer because it has grown too far. If this happens, the surgeon may do a different operation, called bypass surgery, to help control symptoms.
If your cancer can’t be removed by surgery, you may be able to have chemotherapy to stop it growing as quickly. There are also ways to treat any symptoms.