Advice for people with a new diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

VIDEO | 02:05

Our experts share advice for people who just learned they have pancreatic cancer.

Show transcript

So things to think about for a person with a new diagnosis of pancreas cancer. I think before finalizing a decision regarding treatment, I think it's good to go to a big center. Obviously we're very biased on this. But that's where the research is. It's where the state of the science is. It's where there's often access to promising clinical trials.

And I think that's something to consider, as if not a first, a second opinion while finalizing the treatment choices. I think asking about clinical trials that's very important. There are most opportunities with regard to clinical trial participation in the setting of untreated pancreas cancer. That's true with most diseases.

There are less choices as time goes on. So just making that best choice first, I think, has the greatest potential to maximize the long-term outcome with this disease. Another point I would emphasize is to think about genetic testing and ask about genetic testing, both in terms of the family bloodline, so germline testing and tumor-based testing and to make sure that that's part of their assessment.

That's now recommended for all people diagnosed with pancreas cancer almost without exception and is in our major guidelines and to ask what other ways they might be able to contribute or learn about this disease, inquiring about, for example, web resources that are valuable ones and have good quality information on.

Sometimes it's very helpful to a person to speak to somebody who's in a similar setting or on a treatment that they are considering. I think that gives a lot of individuals reassurance and support as they make their decision. And for the most part, I would say not to feel pressurized to take some time, just reflect on the choices before finalizing that treatment plan.