Pancreatic cancer care at Mayo Clinic
Why choose Mayo Clinic for pancreatic adenocarcinoma
Your Mayo Clinic care team
Mayo Clinic experts provide comprehensive care for people with pancreatic cancer. Your team may include specialists in surgery, gastroenterology, radiology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, laboratory medicine and pathology, nutrition and other areas if needed. Doctors from these specialties work together with you to understand your specific needs and to provide you with exactly the care you need. Learn more about the Pancreas Clinic.
This multidisciplinary approach ensures that you benefit from the experience of specialists in every aspect of your care. Close collaboration among your Mayo Clinic care team members enables them to have your test results available quickly and to coordinate your appointments.
A full range of supportive care, including integrative medicine and health and palliative care, is also available.
Mayo Clinic doctors have experience caring for people with all types of pancreatic tumors, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Advanced diagnosis and treatment
Potential benefits of minimally invasive surgery for pancreatic cancer.
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Advanced pancreatic cancer surgeries offer hope.
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Mayo Clinic doctors have access to advanced radiologic imaging and other diagnostic tools. Once the diagnosis is certain, your doctor will review your options and help you choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. Your treatment may involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery or a combination of these.
- Avoiding surgery with the right diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer can be very difficult to distinguish from another disease called autoimmune pancreatitis. This condition can be treated with steroids without the need for surgery, if diagnosed early enough. Mayo Clinic pancreas experts are leaders in developing diagnostic criteria for autoimmune pancreatitis.
- Basing treatment decisions on advanced imaging. Your Mayo Clinic doctors have specialized expertise in dedicated pancreatic CT, multidetector CT angiography, PET and MRI. These tests help to accurately stage your cancer. They're also used to determine if you are responding to treatments.
- Performing surgery when cancer affect nearby blood vessels. Many people are not considered eligible for the Whipple procedure or other pancreatic surgeries if their cancers involve nearby blood vessels. Mayo Clinic is one of the few centers in the United States with highly specialized, experienced surgeons who safely perform these operations in select patients. These procedures involve removing and rebuilding parts of blood vessels.
- Performing minimally invasive pancreatic surgery. In many cases, surgeons at Mayo Clinic can now perform complex pancreatic cancer operations using either small incisions, called laparoscopy, or robotic techniques, which have been shown to allow for a faster recovery. Mayo Clinic surgeons were among the first in the United States to perform these minimally invasive surgeries for people with pancreatic cancer.
- Using proton beam therapy. Mayo Clinic radiation oncologists use advanced techniques and technologies, including proton therapy, which focuses high-energy radiation on the cancer while sparing nearby healthy tissue.
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The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories
Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.
Looking back on pancreatic cancer, 5 years later
On October 23, 2018, Rita Krueger underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer. Mark Truty, M.D., a Mayo Clinic hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeon, removed her pancreas, duodenum, spleen and left adrenal gland and removed and reconstructed several blood vessels involved in her tumor. Within hours of surgery, a pathology report revealed that Rita was cancer-free. Eight months prior, another surgeon had told Rita to get her affairs in order. Rita and her husband, Jim, sought a second opinion…
'My life is in the right hands.' Surgery gives California woman hope after cancer diagnosis
Vishakha Majithia and her husband Thomas had started to envision their lives after retirement — visiting family in India, traveling around the world, and seeing their only son complete his oncology fellowship and start a family. But those plans quickly changed in mid-2018 when Vishakha received frightening news. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — the tumor was considered inoperable. While the diagnosis came as a shock, it explained the seemingly unexplained symptoms Vishakha…
An emotional proposition for cancer survivor
As a five-year survivor of anaplastic pancreatic cancer, Jim Smith belongs to a small group of people to have reached the important milestone. In the years since receiving the life-threatening diagnosis and ensuing lifesaving treatment at Mayo Clinic, the trauma has begun to fade into memory. Jim, a medical doctor and married father of two grown daughters, lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and works at Creighton University School of Medicine. He has finally begun to ponder…
When life throws you lemons...
When Lisa Ayer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, little did she expect that a tiny, yellow candy would be the catalyst to give her hope for the future. "I did not tolerate chemo very well. The taste alone made me sick. But then my sister told me about Lemonheads. They were a godsend," says Lisa, 58, who lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Lisa found that the candy did more than help her…
Expertise and rankings
Mayo Clinic doctors are widely respected for their expertise in diagnosing and treating people with pancreatic cancer. Each year, more than 3,000 people with pancreatic cancer seek care at Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic doctors care for people from all 50 states and from many countries.
Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center meets the strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center. These standards recognize scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Mayo Clinic's campuses in Florida and Minnesota are designated by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) as approved NPF Centers. The designation is recognition for high-quality, multidisciplinary care.
Mayo Clinic has been recognized as a top cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report since it began publishing rankings in 1990. Most recently, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, have been recognized among the top Cancer hospitals in the nation for 2023-2024 by U.S. News & World Report.
Learn more about Mayo Clinic's quality rankings.
Dr. Mark Truty (surgery, MN) better outcomes with chemo
Mayo Clinic surgeon Mark J. Truty, M.D., M.S., discusses pancreatic cancer care at Mayo Clinic.
Locations, travel and lodging
Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.
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Costs and insurance
Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.
In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.
Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.
Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.
Sept. 08, 2023