Treatment depends on the stage of the tumor.
Surgery may be done if the tumor has not spread or has spread very little. Along with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy or both may be used.
When the tumor has not spread out of the pancreas but cannot be removed, chemotherapy and radiation therapy together may be recommended.
When the tumor has spread (metastasized) to other organs such as the liver, chemotherapy alone is usually used.
With advanced cancer, the goal of treatment is to manage pain and other symptoms. For example, if the tube that carries bile is blocked by the pancreatic tumor, a procedure to place a tiny metal tube (stent) may be done to open the blockage. This can help relieve loss of appetite, jaundice, and itching of the skin.