Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is one of the most commonly used treatments for pancreatic cancer.
You may have chemotherapy:
- after surgery, to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back (called adjuvant chemotherapy)
- if surgery is not possible, to shrink the cancer, relieve symptoms and prolong life (called palliative chemotherapy)
- to shrink a cancer before surgery (called neoadjuvant chemotherapy) – you may have this as part of a cancer research trial.
Sometimes, you may have chemotherapy with radiotherapy. This is called chemoradiation. If you have chemotherapy with radiotherapy before surgery, it is called neoadjuvant chemoradiation. This would usually be part of a cancer research trial. Your doctor or specialist nurse can give you more information about chemoradiation.