Important information

The management of pancreatic cancer can be complex, especially for people who require surgery.

A person with a suspected pancreatic cancer should be referred to a gastroenterologist, oncologist or hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) surgeon who is a member of the multidisciplinary team and practices at a specialist centre.


Specialist centres

The management of pancreatic cancer requires a team of health care professionals with experience in pancreatic cancer (including surgery) and the availability of adequate supportive care following surgery.

Even if surgery does not seem likely at the time of referral, early involvement of a multidisciplinary team is recommended to ensure optimal assessment, care, and outcomes.

Specialist centres for pancreatic cancer, primary liver cancer and bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) surgery are: 

Some patients may need to travel out of area to be treated at a specialist centre. The local health district will have an arrangement in place for this. For more detailed information about specialist centres, see Optimising cancer care on the Cancer Institute NSW website.


What tests are needed?

Common tests used to diagnose pancreatic cancer include:

  • physical examination
  • blood tests
  • imaging - ultrasound, CT scan and/or MRI scan
  • endoscopy
  • laparoscopy.


What treatment options are there?

Treatment for pancreatic cancer may include one or more of the following:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy.


How common is pancreatic cancer in NSW?

Pancreatic cancer was diagnosed in:

  • 2015
    1118 people in NSW
  • 2014
    1096 people in NSW
  • 2013
    1035 people in NSW
Data source: Cancer statistics NSW portal (sourced from Institute Data Warehouse, Cancer Institute NSW. Available at:

Last updated: 21 February 2019