You may be offered chemoradiation as part of a cancer research trial.
If you are having palliative radiotherapy to control the cancer, you will have it in lower doses. It is also usually a shorter course of treatment. So it is less likely to cause side effects.
Each treatment takes 10 to 15 minutes. You usually have a course of treatment daily, Monday to Friday, with a rest at the weekend. Your doctor will discuss the treatment and possible side effects with you.
We have more general information about having radiotherapy.
Radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer can cause side effects, such as:
- loss of appetite
These side effects are usually mild. They will depend on how much treatment you are having.
Having radiotherapy with chemotherapy (chemoradiation) can makes the side effects of treatment worse. Your cancer specialist will be able to advise you what to expect. They can also give you drugs to help with any side effects.
Below is a sample of the sources used in our pancreatic cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
British Society of Gastroenterology. Guidelines for the management of patients with pancreatic cancer peri-ampullary and ampullary carcinomas. 2005.
European Society for Medial Oncology. Cancer of the pancreas: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology, 2015. 26 (Supplement 5): v56 to v68.
Fernandez-del Castillo. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and staging of exocrine pancreatic cancer. UpToDate online. Jan 2018.
Fernandez-del Castillo C, et al. Supportive care of the patient with locally advanced or metastatic exocrine pancreatic cancer. UpToDate online. Feb 2017.
Winter JM, et al. Cancer of the pancreas, DeVita Hellman and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology (10th edition). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2016.
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Professor Tim Iveson, Consultant Medical Oncologist.
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