NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Pancreatic Cancer, Version 1.2014
Overview of cancer treatments Surgery
The surgery for a tumor in the widest part (head) of
the pancreas is called a pancreatoduodenectomy,
also known as a Whipple procedure. This surgery
removes the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder,
duodenum, part of the bile duct, and often part of
the stomach. Some of the lymph nodes near your
pancreas are often removed to test for cancer cells.
Once the cancer has been removed, your surgeons
will connect your organs so you can digest food.
The surgery for a tumor in the middle part (body) or
narrow end (tail) of the pancreas is called a distal
pancreatectomy. This surgery removes the body and
tail of the pancreas, some nearby lymph nodes, and
sometimes, the spleen and its blood vessels.
The surgery for cancer in a large portion of the
pancreas is called a total pancreatectomy. This
surgery removes the entire pancreas. It also removes
the gallbladder, duodenum, part of the bile duct and
stomach, nearby lymph nodes, and sometimes the
spleen. This surgery is not done often.
Order of treatments
Most people with pancreatic cancer will receive more than one type of treatment. When and why
treatments are given can be hard to understand. Part 5 gives full details. Here, the terms that describe
the order of treatments are explained.
to shrink the tumor
The main treatment
given to rid the body
The first set of
Treatment given after
to kill any remaining
The next set of
treatments given after
the first or previous