If pancreatic cancer returns

If the surgeon successfully removes all of the cancer, you’ll need regular check-ups to confirm that it hasn’t come back. Check-ups will become less frequent if you have no further problems. Between appointments, let your doctor know immediately of health issues.

Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat, and it often comes back after treatment. This is known as a recurrence.

Most of the time, surgery is not an option if you have a recurrence. Your doctors may recommend you have other types of treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

If the medical team is unable to treat the cancer, treatments can be given to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. This is called palliative treatment. For more on this visit Advanced pancreatic cancer. You may also be able to access new treatments by joining a clinical trial.

This information was last reviewed in February 2018
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Life after cancer treatment
Support groups, programs and webinars for people who have finished treatment

Cancer information

Fear of the cancer coming back
How to manage your anxiety about recurrence

Your coping toolbox
Strategies for dealing with difficult situations