Planning ahead with advanced pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer Action
Patient Information Booklets

What is Pancreatic cancer and how is it diagnosed?

This booklet for patients and carers describes pancreatic cancer, its causes and symptoms. It gives detailed information on the diagnostic tests used and the stages of pancreatic cancer. It includes a section on what to ask your doctor, where to go for further information and a glossary to explain many of the terms used.

When you are diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, you probably have a lot of questions. You may start thinking about your plans for the end of your life. It can be difficult to know where to start and how best to make these decisions. It may help to start with a list of questions that you can use as a starting point for how you document and tell your friends, family and medical team about what your priorities are at the end of your life.

It can be easier to break your questions down into who, what, where, when and how? Questions like;

  • Who do I want to be providing my care? Who do I want to be there in the last days of my life?
  • What level of care do I need? What type of care is available in different places?
  • Where do I want to die? Where do I want to spend most of my time?
  • When should I make decisions about my treatments? When should I think about stopping some of my treatments?
  • How do I make sure my wishes are known by the right people? How will my decisions be funded?

Answering these questions can help you decide how you need to record your wishes, what your priorities are and who you need to talk to make sure this happens. There are lots of ways to plan for the end of your life, you can look through a number of options to make sure that you find the right ways to work for you.

These decisions may feel very difficult and like something you would rather avoid but they will give you and your loved one’s piece of mind if ever you become unwell and cannot communicate what you want.