Pancreatic cancer care at Mayo Clinic

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, 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 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

Mayo Clinic patients 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 relatively uncommon disease called autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP). AIP is a noncancerous (benign) condition that 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 AIP.
  • Basing treatment decisions on advanced imaging. Your Mayo Clinic doctors have specialized expertise in dedicated pancreatic CT, multidetector CT angiography, PET and MRI.
  • Performing surgery when tumors affect nearby blood vessels. Many people are not considered eligible for the Whipple procedure or other pancreatic surgeries if their tumors 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 reconstructing 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 (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.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic doctors are widely respected for their expertise in diagnosing and treating people with pancreatic cancer. Each year, nearly 1,800 people with pancreatic cancer seek care at Mayo Clinic. About 470 of them undergo Whipple procedures and related surgeries.

Mayo Clinic doctors care for people from all 50 states and from numerous countries.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets the strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which 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 — a recognition for high-quality, multidisciplinary care.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for digestive disorders.

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's quality rankings.

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.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

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.