Treatment at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Treatment for ampullary cancers typically involves surgery to remove the cancer.


Operations used to treat ampullary cancer include:

  • Surgery to remove the pancreas and small intestine. The Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy) involves removing the head of your pancreas, as well as a portion of your small intestine (duodenum), your gallbladder and part of your bile duct.

    The Whipple procedure can be done using a large incision in your abdomen, or as a minimally invasive surgery, which uses several small incisions.

  • Endoscopic surgery. For very small ampullary cancers and precancerous tumors, it may be possible to remove the cancer with tools passed through an endoscope. This may be an option in certain situations.

Other treatments

Other treatments that may be used for ampullary cancer include:

  • Combined chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy uses beams of energy, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Used together, these treatments may be more effective for ampullary cancers.
  • Chemotherapy alone. In people with advanced ampullary cancer, chemotherapy may be used alone.
March 21, 2014