Services > Cancer Center > Health Library

I?ve Just Been Told I Have Pancreatic Cancer

There are very few things scarier than being told you have cancer. You may feel like you?re in shock. You may not even want to believe what the doctor has told you. There are probably so many questions you want to ask but think you can?t because you don?t know where to start.

First of all, it?s OK to be overwhelmed. It?s OK to feel afraid. But you shouldn?t let those feelings stop you from finding out as much as you can about your cancer and about the options you have. Because the more you know, the less helpless and afraid you will feel. The more you know, the better you will be able to work with your healthcare team to make the best choices for you and help decide on treatment.

To decide the best course of treatment, your doctor needs to know as much as possible about your cancer. This will involve getting a variety of tests and working with more than one healthcare professional.

For example, your healthcare team may include a doctor who specializes in cancer, called a medical oncologist, and an oncology nurse. You may also see cancer specialists with different specialization, such as a surgical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. The team will answer all your questions and guide you through each of the steps that you may take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests are being done and what the results mean. They?ll help you in making treatment decisions.

People with pancreatic cancer now have more treatment choices than ever before. There is more hope for survival. Doctors keep finding new ways to help people with pancreatic cancer. Experts learn more about this type of cancer--its prevention, detection, and treatment--every day.