How is pancreatic cancer treated?
Treating your pancreatic cancer will likely include more than one type of treatment and require the expertise of more than one type of cancer specialist. Roswell Park’s signature model of cancer care — a team of physicians, including surgical, radiation and medical oncologists, plus cancer-focused gastroenterologists, endocrinologists and other specialists, who focus on your particular cancer type — is essential with pancreatic cancer.
Having all these specialists under one roof is about more than convenience; it’s critical to delivering the right treatments at the right time and in the right sequence. The physicians of the pancreatic cancer team meet regularly to discuss each case and collaborate to determine the optimal treatment plan for you.
Your treatment for pancreatic cancer will likely involve one or more of the following treatment types:
- Surgery to remove the tumor from the pancreas or the entire pancreas and other tissues, lymph nodes or organs affected by the cancer.
- Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells by targeting them with high-energy radiation. May be given simultaneously with chemotherapy in a treatment called chemoradiation.
- Medical therapy to fight the cancer using different types of drugs, including chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
- Clinical trials to access the latest emerging options for treating pancreatic cancer.
Quality of life during treatment
Supportive & Palliative Care is a medical subspecialty that focuses on quality-of-life issues for patients and their families. Sometimes confused with hospice or end-of-life care, supportive and palliative care is provided at any stage of a serious illness and alongside cancer treatment. Roswell Park’s team provides essential support and symptom management to relieve pain, nausea, poor sleep and anxiety; ease emotional distress; and improve your quality of life during your treatment.