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Pancreatic Cancer Treatment by Stage

Treatment options for pancreatic cancer vary in part based on the stage, or extent, of the disease. The following article breaks down pancreatic cancer treatment by stage of the disease. In general, treatment for pancreatic cancer may involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment by Stage: An Introduction

There are several different types of pancreatic cancer treatment options that are available for patients.
In the following eMedTV article, the term "pancreatic cancer" refers to cancer that begins in the ducts that carry pancreatic juices (exocrine cells). This type of cancer accounts for about 95 percent of all cases of pancreatic cancer.
(Click Pancreatic Islet Cell Cancer for information about how a less common form of pancreatic cancer is classified and treated.)
Pancreatic cancer treatment options vary based on factors such as:
  • The stage of the cancer (see Stages of Pancreatic Cancer)
  • Where in the pancreas the tumor started
  • Whether the cancer has spread outside the pancreas
  • The patient's age and general health.
In general, pancreatic cancer treatments include:
The stages used to describe pancreatic cancer include:
  • Stage 0
  • Stage I
  • Stage II (divided into substages IIA and IIB)
  • Stage III
  • Stage IV
  • Recurrent.
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