Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Pancreatic cancer treatments are more successful when cancer is found early; unfortunately, in most cases, pancreatic cancer has already spread by the time it is found. Treatment may help you feel better, and it helps some people live longer. Also, clinical trials are an option that gives you access to treatments you might not be able to try otherwise. Fletcher Allen has a strong history of clinical trial experience.

Determining your Treatment Options

Pancreatic cancer treatment depends on the stage and location of the cancer as well as other factors such as your age, overall health and personal preferences. Your team of doctors will take all of that into account with the treatments they recommend.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in Burlington, VT

Pancreatic cancer treatment options at Fletcher Allen include:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy treats cancer by destroying cancer cells using different types of medication.

Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer

Surgery may be an option; it works best if your pancreatic cancer is only in the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer surgeries include:

  • Whipple Procedure
    This is the most common surgery for pancreatic cancer. The surgeon may remove part of the pancreas, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine (called duodenum), and the gallbladder and common bile duct.
  • Distal Pancreatectomy
    The surgeon may remove part of the pancreas and the spleen.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays and protons, to destroy cancer cells and may be used for certain types of pancreatic tumors.

Clinical Trials in Pancreatic Cancer

Your doctor may talk to you about being in a clinical trial. For some people with pancreatic cancer, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice.

Among the treatments being studied for pancreatic cancer is biologic therapy, a treatment that uses your immune system to fight cancer.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call us at 877-540-HOPE (4673).