The only curative treatment for pancreatic cancer is surgery. If diagnosed early and there are no obvious signs of spread to other organs, pancreatic cancer can be removed by surgery. Unfortunately, no other therapies can cure pancreatic cancer.
Most surgeries attempting to cure pancreatic cancer are concentrated on tumours that start in the head of the organ. This surgery is called a pancreaticoduodenectomy and is commonly known as the Whipple's procedure. The Whipple's proceedure involves the removal of:
- Head of the pancreas
- Lymph nodes near the pancreas
- Part of the common bile duct
- Part of the stomach
- Duodenum (first part of the small intestine)
- A small portion of the jejunum (second part of the small intestine)