What types of health professionals treat pancreatic cancer?

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery

Pancreatic cancer requires a team approach with gastroenterology, surgery (hepatobiliary surgeon), medical oncology and radiation oncology. The term also includes nutrition services, cancer care nurse specialists and a whole host of other individuals.

A patient should be evaluated and presented at a multidisciplinary tumor board and then treatment plan is determined thereafter.

As with most high-risk cancers, the treatment of pancreatic cancer generally involves a Medical Oncologist, and some form of chemotherapy for patients who are candidates for this form of therapy.
For the 15 to 20% of patients with pancreatic cancer who are potential candidates for surgery, a Surgical Oncologist should also be involved.
Finally, although the role of radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer continues to be debated, in the United States, radiation therapy (delivered by Radiation Oncologists) is often given before or after surgery in patients who are candidates for surgery. In some patients for whom surgery is not an option, radiation therapy is sometimes combined with chemotherapy, as well.
Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS
Author, "A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race"

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.