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What to Know About Combination Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

For pancreatic cancer, you will likely have more than one kind of treatment. You may have surgery plus chemotherapy, for example. This is called combination treatment or combination therapy. 

You may have a treatment before surgery. This is called neoadjuvant treatment. You may have chemotherapy or radiation, or both, before surgery. All of these help shrink the tumor. A smaller tumor is easier to take out.

You may have treatment after surgery. This is called adjuvant treatment. You may have chemotherapy or radiation, or both, after surgery. The goal is to kill any remaining cancer cells. Your doctor may suggest adjuvant treatment even if there are no signs of cancer cells left after surgery. It lowers the risk that cancer may come back or spread.

If you cannot have surgery, you may still have chemotherapy and radiation.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Rick MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Coleman, JoAnn RN, MS, ACNP, AOCN®
Online Medical Reviewer: Lee, James J. MD, PhD
Last Review Date: 3/3/2008
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.