Pancreatic Cancer Care: What to Expect

Learning you have pancreatic cancer can leave you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about your future. When you come to the Henry Ford Cancer Institute, you receive comprehensive treatment and support from a team that cares about you as an individual.

You have access to leading therapies, a team of experts and robust support services. Through each phase of treatment, we take time to explain what to expect, so your experience is a little less stressful.

Newly diagnosed?

Contact the cancer team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167 or request an appointment online.

Meet our 5- and 10-year survivors

Pancreatic cancer can have a grim diagnosis, but outstanding care from Henry Ford is helping more people beat the odds. Many patients are alive and thriving long after completing treatment. Meet our 5- and 10-year survivors Elton, Tony, Sheila, William and Edna.

Pre-planning treatments before your first oncology visit

We start caring for you before your first appointment. Approximately 30 pancreatic cancer specialists gather in regular meetings called tumor boards. The team includes nationally recognized specialists from all cancer disciplines, including medical-, surgical- and radiation oncology. Meet our team.

The tumor board reviews your medical history, imaging studies and results from other tests. We confirm the diagnosis is accurate, then start forming a treatment plan.

What to expect during your first oncology visit

We start by taking time to get to know you. Experts ask about your symptoms and how they are affecting your daily life. We review test results and perform a brief physical exam. By the end of the appointment, you receive a detailed treatment plan and information about the next steps of your care.

You meet with multiple specialists during your first oncology visit. In addition to cancer specialists, you may meet with:

  • Cancer nutrition specialists give personalized recommendations that maximize nutrition even if you are having digestive issues.
  • Financial navigators help optimize your medical coverage (insurance) and explain benefits in ways that are easy to understand.
  • Nurse navigators coordinate appointments and answer any questions you may have.
  • Psycho-oncologists help you cope with behavioral, emotional and social effects of pancreatic cancer.
  • Social workers assist you with practical matters, like transportation to and from appointments, if needed.

Pancreatic cancer treatment at Henry Ford

The therapies that are right for you and the order in which you receive them depend in part on the diagnosis. We excel in treating all types of pancreatic cancer and tumors. These include rare conditions and cancers that come back after treatment.

We offer the full range of therapies:

  • Chemotherapy and medical oncology use drugs or other substances to halt cancer cell growth.
  • Radiation therapy uses powerful beams of energy and sophisticated technologies that enable many patients to complete treatment in less time.
  • Surgery typically includes minimally invasive procedures to remove the tumor through the smallest necessary incision.
  • Clinical trials testing new therapies, many of which are not widely available, are available to eligible patients.

Support services

Supportive care services help you cope with the physical, emotional and practical challenges of living with cancer. We offer a broad range of services, including integrative therapies like acupuncture. And survivorship services help you plan for life after treatment. Find out more about supportive care for pancreatic cancer.

At Henry Ford, you are not alone on your cancer care journey. We offer family-centered support services that connect you with helpful resources and special events. Learn more about cancer support groups, events and classes.

Newly diagnosed?

Contact the cancer team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167

Schedule Appointment Online

Please call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent medical question.

Already a Henry Ford patient?
For the best experience, existing Henry Ford patients can request and self-schedule appointments through Henry Ford MyChart.

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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