What if the cancer returns?
If the surgery successfully removes all of the cancer, you will have regular appointments to monitor your health, manage any long-term side effects and check that the cancer hasn’t come back or spread.
Check-ups will become less frequent if you have no further problems. Between appointments, let your doctor know immediately of any symptoms or health problems.
Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat and it often does come 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 other types of treatment with the aim of reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. We describe some of these treatments here.
You may also be able to get new treatments by joining a clinical trial.
Podcast for people affected by cancer
Dr Benjamin Loveday, Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Surgeon, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Katherine Allsopp, Palliative Medicine Physician, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Hollie Bevans, Senior Dietitian, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Western Health, VIC; Dr Lorraine Chantrill, Head of Department Medical Oncology, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, NSW; Amanda Maxwell, Consumer; Prof Michael Michael, Medical Oncologist, Lower and Upper GI Oncology Service, Co-Chair Neuroendocrine Unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and University of Melbourne, VIC; Dr Andrew Oar, Radiation Oncologist, Icon Cancer Centre, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Meg Rogers, Nurse Consultant Upper GI/NET Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Ady Sipthorpe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA.
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Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment