What is the surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer?

Resection. There are basically two types of surgery for pancreatic cancer: as mentioned, tumors in the head of the pancreas are removed by resection of the head of the pancreas, duodenum, and distal bile duct (the whipple); tumors in the body and tail are removed by distal pancreatectomy, often with splenectomy. All pancreatic resections should be performed at high volume centers by high volume surgeons.
The Whipple. The whipple aka the pancreaticoduodenectomy is the surgical removal of a pancreatic tumor at the head of the pancreas along with excision and reconstruction of part of the duodenum.
Depends on location. Some tumors of the body and tail can be managed by distal pancreatectomy. Those in the head usually require pancreaticoduodenectomy or whipple procedure. Occasionally a total pancreatectomy is required for tumors that spread along the pancreatic duct. Adequate lymph node removal is needed and rarely portions of adjacent organs are resected.

Related Questions

Surgical oncology: Whipple may be the only cure for pancreatic cancer? But, it is a huge operation with many months of recovery? Go through it?

Some do. Some don't. If the outlook is not good, the PATIENT must decide whether to live a better, shorter life, or try for a longer life through more pain and suffering. Life on Earth is always short, regardless of whether a person lives 3 days, 3000 days, or 30, 000 days. It is not length of one's life that matters, but the quality of the life lived. The goal may be not to live a long life, but to live a good life.
Depends. You are right, a Whipple is a big operation. Fortunately, many patients have a great outcome and the recovery is generally about 8 weeks, not always "many months". True, if you have a complication, it can take this long. It really depends how strong you are going into the operation, the anatomy of your cancer, and your cancer stage. Talk with your surgeon.

Is there a surgical procedure for pancreatic cancer?

Yes. The main types of operations for pancreatic cancer are for patients who have no evidence of cancer spread beyond the pancreas. The first kind, for tumors in the right side of he pancreas is called a Whipple operation. The second kind, for tumors in the left side of the pancreas is called a distal pancreatectomy. These are both major operations that can sometimes be done robotically.

Diagnosed with stage 1 pancreatic cancer in the head of the pancreas, I don't want surgery or chemotherapy how long will I live?

Untreated, 1-2 years. Pancreatic cancer can only be staged after surgery- information provided by a pathologist is necessary to assign a stage. If you have what appears to be early stage pancreatic cancer it would be foolish not to seek treatment since surgery can cure up to 40% of cases, and while big surgery, the risk is low (around 1%). Depending on pathology findings postop chemotherapy may provide added benefit.
You can be cured! Stage I pancreas cancer can be cured! But, surgery is a must! If you don't have surgery, it will become life-threatening within months to a few years. Please go to a cancer center where a pancreas surgeon performs many procedures per year.

Pancreatic cancer t2n0? Stage 1b; unresectable due to age (78), surgical history. Is there any benefit to radiation and chemo beyond added time?

Personal choice. Unfortunately no, then it is choosing the quality of life vs life. Should be left to patient, if chooses to leave it alone, should provide all love and comforts till the end.

Can you tell me about pancreatic cancer surgical procedure?

Whipple most common. Surgery is most often performed for lesions of the head of the pancreas, the pancreatoduodenectomy or Whipple. When dx made by transduodenal biopsy of lesion seen on scan, the lesion has to be well localized, without any spread, even to lymph nodes and can not involve the superior mesenteric vein which passes under the neck to form portal vein. Only 10% of patients diagnosed can have surgery.

What types of surgical procedures are performed to treat pancreatic cancer?

Whipple surgery. This is a big operation, but has the best chance of cure. Unfortunately, minority of pancreatic cancer patients can undergo this procedure. Pancreatic cancer is typically found at the later stages where this operation is not possible.
It depends. A whipple operation is appropriate for patients with pancreas cancer in the "head" part of the pancreas gland, but patients with adenocarcinoma in the tail part of the pancreas can be eligible for a procedure called "distal pancreatectomy" where only the tail portion is removed. This is generally a much safer operation that is easier to recover from. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Depends on location. Some tumors of the body and tail can be managed by distal pancreatectomy. Those in the head usually require pancreaticoduodenectomy or whipple procedure. Occasionally a total pancreatectomy is required for tumors that spread along the pancreatic duct. Adequate lymph node removal is needed and rarely portions of adjacent organs are resected.

Are there any treatments for pancreatic cancer?

Plenty of Rx. But only total removal works. Panc resides in a critical area, if ca invades important vessels removal unlikely. Potential to remove improved with chemo and radiorx. If vessels not freed, stomach and liver secretions need to be bypassed to attain relief.
Details. The latest, best chemotherapy regimen for metastatic disease is folfirinox, a combination regimen, which outperformed gemcitabine alone. Another option is gemcitabine with Paclitaxel or erlotinib. Surgery is the only curative modality, so if its resectable, this should be pursued. Neoadjuvant (pre-op) treatment with chemo and radiation is a great option to ensure patient is likely to benefit.

Can natural/chinese therapy in conjunction with chemo be used to fight pancreatic cancer?

What is natural/ Chinese therapy? I am not aware of any controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of "natural/chinese therapy", therefore I am not able to provide an informed opinion. It is very important to seek traditional care at the earliest since pancreatic cancer has a high mortality rate.
Perhaps. Whenever one of my patients wants to use natural or alternative therapy for a problem. I always ask them to show me exactly what it is they are taking. Some things may help, some things may really do nothing at all, but some things may have bad side effect when combine with other medicines. Your doctor can cross check your alternative medicines with whatever they order.