Read about how treatment decisions for pancreatic cancer are made, as well as who will be on your treatment team and how to get a second opinion.

Download the whole pancreatic cancer booklet

Our new booklet 'Understanding pancreatic cancer' is available now.

Understanding Pancreatic Cancer booklet 2022
Understanding pancreatic cancer thumbnail v4

Download Section Four of our pancreatic cancer booklet: Making treatment decisions

  • The treatment choices you are offered will be based on all the information available about the cancer and your general health.
  • Recommendations will depend on:
    • the type of pancreatic cancer and its stage
    • your general health
    • your personal wishes.
  • You will be cared for by a team of health professionals that may include:
    • your GP or whānau doctor
    • oncology nurses and cancer care coordinators
    • a gastroenterologist
    • a surgeon (gastrointestinal)
    • a medical oncologist
    • a radiation oncologist
    • a dietician
    • a palliative care team.
  • Before you visit your treatment team, think about any questions you would like to have answered.
  • You can ask another doctor for a second opinion about the cancer or treatment options if you want to.

  • Ka hāngai ngā kōwhiringa maimoatanga ka whakaratoa ki a koe i runga anō i ngā pārongo e wātea ana mō te matepukupuku me tō oranga whānui.
  • Ka hāngai ngā taunaki ki:
    • te momo matepukupuku repetaiaki huka me te wāhanga kua eke
    • tō oranga whānui
    • Ōu ake tino hiahia
  • Ka tiakina koe e tētahi rōpū ngaio hauora, kei roto pea ko ēnei tāngata:
    • tō GP, tō rata whānau rānei
    • ngā tapuhi mātai mate pukupuku me ngā kairuruku mātai kōpiro
    • he mātanga (puku mātai kōpiro)
    • he mātai mate pukupuku
    • he kaimātai matepukupuku hauora
    • he mātanga kaimātai matepukupuku hauora iraruke
    • he mātanga kaiwhakatinana rārangi kai
    • he rōpū whakaora atawhai taurima
  • I mua o tō haere ki te kite i tētahi rōpū maimoatanga, ata whakaarotia ētahi pātai e hiahia ana koe kia whakautua.
  • E āhei ana koe ki te torotoro i tētahi atu rata mō he kōrero tuarua e pā ana ki te matepukupuku, ki ngā maimoatanga rānei, mēnā e pīrangi ana koe.
Section 4 Making decisions

How treatment decisions are made

The treatment choices you are offered will be based on all the information available about the cancer and your general health.

Recommendations will depend on:

  • the type of pancreatic cancer and its stage
  • your general health
  • your personal wishes and goals of care.

Your treatment team

From the time you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you will be cared for by a team of health professionals, including:

  • your GP or whānau doctor
  • oncology nurses and cancer care coordinators
  • a gastroenterologist
  • a surgeon (gastrointestinal)
  • a medical oncologist
  • a radiation oncologist
  • a dietician
  • a palliative care team

Other members of your treatment team

Your treatment team may include other health care professionals such as a social
worker, psychologist, physiotherapist, practice nurse, community health nurse,
pharmacist, or occupational therapist.

Talking to your treatment team

Asking the right questions

When you first learn you have pancreatic cancer, you may have many questions.

We suggest you think about the questions you would like your cancer treatment team to answer and how much detail you are comfortable with. It can be helpful to have a support person present.

Asking for a second opinion

You may want to ask another doctor about the pancreatic cancer or treatment to help you feel more confident about your treatment decision. You can ask your treatment team or GP or whānau doctor to refer you to another doctor to get a second opinion.

Your rights

Your rights as a health and disability service consumer are protected by the Health and Disability Commission’s Code of Rights. You also have the right to have an interpreter present during all medical consultations.Read about the Health and Disability Commission's Code of Rights

Talking to others and coping with waiting

You may want to discuss your treatment options with your whānau and friends, specialist nurses, your GP or whānau doctor, the Cancer Society, or a hospital social worker or spiritual advisor.

If you are finding the waiting difficult for receiving your diagnosis and starting treatment, contact your treatment team.

Taking part in a clinical trial

There are many new and emerging treatments for cancer. Clinical trials are a vital part of the search to find better cancer treatments.

  • Clinical trials test new and modified treatments to see if they are better than existing treatments.
  • In randomised clinical trials, you will receive either the standard treatment currently available or the new treatment being tested.
  • Not all treatments tested in trials turn out to be helpful.
  • Make sure you fully understand the reasons for the trial and what it means for you – it is your decision if you take part.
Last updated: September 22, 2022