Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Patients with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer have cancer that has spread from the pancreas to other sites. Metastatic pancreatic cancer starts in the pancreas and spreads to the surrounding organs, including the liver, stomach, spleen and intestines. (It’s still called pancreatic cancer, even though it’s moved somewhere else.)

The following is an overview for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The information on this web-site is intended to help educate you about your treatment options and to create discussion to help in the decision-making process with your treatment team.

The pancreas is a small gland which is shaped like a leaf and located just below the stomach. Its functions include excreting enzymes which aid the digestive process and the hormones insulin and glucagon, which help to control blood sugar.

The most common type of pancreatic cancer is called adenocarcinoma, and this starts in the enzyme-producing cells of the pancreas

Your cancer will ultimately influence the treatments that are right for your situation.  

Treatment may also include surgery, radiation, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatment techniques. Multidisciplinary treatment, which uses two or more treatment types, is important for every cancer patient and will help in creating a care plan and goals for improving a chance of cure or prolonging survival. In some cases, participation in a clinical trial may provide additional options.