Oncology social workers help you cope with the emotional and practical challenges of pancreatic cancer. Contact us at 800‑813‑HOPE (4673) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about counseling.
Learn more about how CancerCare Resource Navigation can help you address barriers to care.
Find resources and support to manage your financial concerns. Limited assistance from CancerCare® is available to eligible families for cancer-related costs.
Connect with others in our free support groups led by oncology social workers.
Learn about and view the full calendar of our free community programs.
CancerCare offers specialized programs to address specific populations and concerns.
Connect Education Workshops
Listen in by telephone or online as leading experts in oncology provide up-to-date information about cancer-related issues in one-hour workshops. Podcasts are also available.
- Clinical Trials: How They Transform the Treatment of Cancer, Jun 7, 2023
- Addressing the LGBTQI+ Health Disparities Gap, Jun 16, 2023
- Understanding Diagnostic Technologies and Biomarkers, Jun 26, 2023
- Diverse Populations Participating in Decisions About Your Care With Your Health Care Team, Jun 28, 2023
- Highlights from the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting - "Advancing Equitable Cancer Care Through Innovation", Aug 16, 2022
- Highlights from the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Aug 17, 2021
- Highlights from the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting: Unite and Conquer: Accelerating Progress Together, Aug 18, 2020
- Treatment Update on Pancreatic Cancer, Jun 26, 2019
- Understanding How Health Care Disparities May Influence Your Cancer Treatment and Care: With Tips and Strategies to Find the Best Cancer Treatment and Health Care Team for You, May 15, 2023
- Current Perspectives on Cancer Survivorship, May 2, 2023
- Caring for Your Loved One with Cancer, Apr 3, 2023
- Understanding Diagnostic Technologies and Biomarkers, Jan 23, 2023
- Taking Your Pills on Schedule: Its Importance in Managing Cancer, Nov 9, 2022
- Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Aug 22, 2022
- Chemotherapy Treatment Side Effects: Prevention & Management, Jun 10, 2022
- Diverse Populations Participating in Decisions about Your Care with Your Health Care Team, May 23, 2022
- Clinical Trials: How They Transform the Treatment of Cancer, May 18, 2022
- What’s New in Precision Medicine, May 11, 2022
- Taking Your Pills on Schedule: Why It Is So Important in Managing Cancer, May 4, 2022
- Current Perspectives on Cancer Survivorship, May 3, 2022
- Managing the Side Effects of Immunotherapy, Apr 27, 2022
- Caring for Your Loved One with Cancer, Apr 25, 2022
- Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Treating Cancer, Mar 23, 2022
- Understanding How Health Care Disparities May Influence Your Cancer Treatment and Care: With Tips & Strategies to Find the Best Cancer Treatment & Health Care Team for You, Mar 21, 2022
- Emerging Importance of Telemedicine/Telehealth Appointments in Communicating with Your Health Care Team, Mar 16, 2022
- CAR T-Cell Therapy: What's New, Mar 15, 2022
- COVID-19, Omicron & Delta Variants, COVID-19 Vaccines & Booster Vaccines: Revised Guidelines for People Living with Cancer and Their Loved Ones, Feb 7, 2022
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Jan 24, 2022
- Preventing, Managing & Treating Infection in Adults Living with Cancer, Oct 25, 2021
- Clinical Trials: How They Transform the Treatment of Cancer, Aug 25, 2021
- What’s New in Precision Medicine, Jun 30, 2021
- How Health Care Disparities May Influence Your Cancer Treatment & Care, Jun 21, 2021
- Caring for Your Loved One with Cancer, Jun 8, 2021
- Managing the Side Effects of Immunotherapy, May 26, 2021
- Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Treating Cancer, May 19, 2021
- What’s New in Diagnostic Technologies for People Living with Solid Cancer Tumors, May 17, 2021
- Taking Your Pills on Schedule: Why It Is So Important in Managing Cancer, Apr 14, 2021
- Update on Clinical Trials: How They Work, Apr 7, 2021
- Emerging Importance of Telemedicine/Telehealth Appointments in Communicating with Your Health Care Team, Mar 31, 2021
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Mar 15, 2021
- Current Perspectives on Cancer Survivorship, Feb 9, 2021
- The 9/11 Community, Cancer & COVID-19, Jan 25, 2021
- How Diagnostic Technologies and Biomarkers Improve Treatment Decisions for People Living with Cancer, Dec 7, 2020
- What We Now Know about COVID-19: Revised Guidelines for People Living with Cancer, Nov 16, 2020
- Cancer and Flu Shots, Nov 9, 2020
- Caregiving for Your Loved One Living with Cancer, Nov 3, 2020
- Preventing and Managing Infections in Adults Living with Cancer, Oct 26, 2020
- Managing the Cost of Living with Cancer, Sep 23, 2020
- Veterans Living with Cancer, Jun 26, 2020
- Treatment Adherence: Taking Your Pills on Schedule – Why It Is So Important, Jun 24, 2020
- Understanding Diagnostic Technologies and Biomarkers, Jun 22, 2020
- What are Biosimilars? Understanding Their Role in Cancer Treatment: Current and Future Perspectives, Jun 18, 2020
- Current Perspectives in Cancer Survivorship, Jun 16, 2020
- The New Coronavirus (COVID-19): Emerging Guidelines for People Living & Coping with Cancer, Jun 15, 2020
- Managing the Side Effects of Immunotherapy, May 6, 2020
- Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Treating Cancer, Apr 29, 2020
- For Caregivers: Care Coordination for Your Loved One Living with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Apr 22, 2020
- The New Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updated Guidelines for People Coping with Cancer, Apr 20, 2020
- Caregiving for Your Loved One with Cancer, Apr 14, 2020
- Participating in Decisions about Your Care, Apr 8, 2020
- The New Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidelines for People Coping with Cancer, Mar 30, 2020
- Cancer and The Workplace: Understanding Your Legal Protections, Mar 25, 2020
- New Perspectives in Clinical Trial Research, Mar 20, 2020
- Understanding the Costs of Care and Your Health Care Coverage, Mar 18, 2020
- Trends in Oncology and Treatment Planning: What You Need to Know, Mar 4, 2020
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Mar 2, 2020
- Taking Your Treatment on Schedule: Its Importance in Managing Cancer, Feb 26, 2020
- Care for Your Bones During & After Cancer Treatment: Tips to Improve Bone Health, Nov 18, 2019
- Preventing Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting, Oct 28, 2019
- Participating in Decisions about Your Care, Jun 19, 2019
- New Trends in Cancer Survivorship, Jun 18, 2019
- For Caregivers: Care Coordination for Your Loved One Living with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Jun 17, 2019
- Understanding the Costs of Care and Your Health Care Coverage, Jun 12, 2019
- Cancer and the Workplace: Understanding Your Legal Protections, May 29, 2019
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Apr 15, 2019
- Joys and Challenges of Pets in Your Home When You Have Cancer, Apr 8, 2019
- Caregiving for Your Loved One with Cancer, Mar 19, 2019
- Current Perspectives on Cancer Survivorship, Dec 11, 2018
- Treatment-Related Rash and Dry Skin, Jun 20, 2018
- Mind Body Techniques to Cope with the Stresses of Cancer, Nov 15, 2017
- For Caregivers: Care Coordination for Your Loved One Living with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Jun 14, 2017
- Living with Cancer Throughout The Cancer Journey, Mar 10, 2017
- Managing Sensory Disruptions During Cancer Treatments, Dec 5, 2016
- For Health Care Professionals: Care Coordination for Older Men Living with Cancer, Aug 23, 2016
- Managing the Costs of Living with Cancer, Jun 8, 2016
- Nutrition and Healthy Eating Tips During and After Cancer Treatments, Feb 1, 2016
- What’s New in Managing Blood Clots During Cancer Treatments, Oct 30, 2015
- For Health Care Professionals: Care Coordination for Older Men Living with Cancer, Jul 14, 2015
- Healthy Eating and Managing Weight Changes During Cancer Treatment, Apr 13, 2015
- Highlights of the Affordable Care Act, Nov 11, 2014
- Managing Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know, Mar 21, 2014
- Young Adult Survivorship: Fertility, Sexuality and Intimacy, Jun 28, 2013
- Understanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for People Living with Cancer, Dec 12, 2012
- Managing Post-Treatment Neuropathy, Jul 17, 2012
- Recapturing Joy and Finding Meaning, May 15, 2012
- Planning Your Comfort and Care at End of Life, May 10, 2012
- Using Mind/Body Techniques to Cope with the Stress of Survivorship, Apr 24, 2012
- Nutrition, Physical Activity and You: A Guide for People Living With Cancer, Nov 15, 2011
- Fear of Recurrence and Late Effects: Living with Uncertainty, Jul 12, 2011
- Stress Management for Caregivers: Taking Care of Yourself Physically and Emotionally, Jun 14, 2011
- The Challenges of Coping with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Jun 1, 2011
- Weight Changes After Cancer Treatment: Why is it Happening and What Can I Do About It, May 10, 2011
- Mouth Pain and Discomfort: All You Need to Know About Mouth Sores and Oral Mucositis, Apr 27, 2011
- Helping Children and Teens Understand When a Parent or Loved One Has Cancer, Apr 20, 2011
- Chemobrain: The Impact of Cancer Treatments on Memory, Thinking and Attention, Apr 12, 2011
- Survivors Too: Communicating With and Among Family, Friends and Loved Ones, Jul 13, 2010
- Communicating with Your Health Care Team After Treatment: Making the Most of Your Visit, May 18, 2010
- Trouble Sleeping? Sleep Better to Feel Better: Tips You Can Use, Apr 13, 2010
- Helping Teachers and Educators Support Siblings of Children with Cancer, Oct 8, 2009
- Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy, Jul 16, 2009
- Survivors Too: Family, Friends and Loved Ones - Managing the Fatigue of Caregiving, Jun 23, 2009
- The Importance of Nutrition and Physical Activity, May 19, 2009
- For Parents, Caregivers and Professionals: Helping Brothers and Sisters of Children Living with Cancer, May 14, 2009
- Dental Health During Cancer Treatments, Apr 24, 2009
- Managing the Stress of Survivorship, Apr 14, 2009
- Medical Emergencies in Cancer Treatment, Apr 1, 2009
- Balancing Cancer and Careers: Living and Working with Cancer, Mar 12, 2009
- For Caregivers: Coping with Holidays, Special Occasions and Birthdays, Throughout the Year, Dec 12, 2008
- Survivors Too: Family, Friends and Loved Ones, Jun 24, 2008
- Rediscovering Intimacy in Your Relationships Following Treatment, May 13, 2008
- The Importance of Communicating with Your Doctor About Follow-Up Care, Apr 22, 2008
- Finding Hope and Meaning After Treatment, Jun 19, 2007
- My Treatment is Over: Why Do I Feel So Alone and Sad?, May 15, 2007
- Neuropathy and Joint Aches: New Post Treatment Challenges, Apr 17, 2007
- Managing Your Costs of Recovery, Jun 20, 2006
- Balancing Your Needs and Your Role as a Caregiver, Jun 13, 2006
- Is It My Cancer or Am I Getting Older?, May 23, 2006
- The Bereaved Caregiver in the Workplace, May 10, 2006
- Stress Management Tips for Survivors, Apr 25, 2006
- The Challenge of Creating Supportive Work Environments for Employees with Cancer and Their Caregivers, Apr 5, 2006
Read or order our free Connect booklets and fact sheets offering easy-to-read information about the latest cancer treatments, managing side effects and coping with cancer.
- Your Guide to the Latest Cancer Research and Treatments: Highlights From the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical OncologyNew
- After a Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Treatment Update: Pancreatic Cancer
- Your Guide to the Latest Cancer Research and Treatments: Highlights From the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Coping With Cancer: Tools to Help You Live
- Caregiving for Your Loved One With Cancer
- Talking to Children When a Loved One Has Cancer
- Communicating With Your Health Care Team
- Understanding and Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects
- Sources of Financial Assistance
- Finding Resources in Your Community
- If You've Just Been Diagnosed
- What Can I Say to a Newly Diagnosed Loved One?
- Advice for Caregivers: How Can You Help Yourself?
Every month, featured experts answer your questions about coping with cancer. View all questions and answers.
I've been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and want to know if the back pain I am experiencing worsens over time? How can I manage it?A.
Unfortunately, pain is very common with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The good news is that often the pain lessens as the chemotherapy and/or radiation works to shrink the tumor. Speak with your oncologist or radiologist about how to best manage your pain. There are now a variety of pain medications that can lessen your pain without harsh side effects.
Prepare for the discussion with your doctor by keeping track of your pain by writing down:
- When and where you experience pain
- What is the intensity of your pain (use a scale of 1 to 10, or verbal scale of mild, moderate, severe)
- Does anything make your pain worse?
- Does anything relieve your pain?
- How is pain affecting your everyday life?
Because pain can be difficult to describe, it might be helpful to have friends or family share their assessments as well. It’s always a good idea to bring someone with you to any appointment; another set of ears can help reduce confusion. I recommend that you bring a list of questions to the appointment and have someone write down the doctor’s responses. People sometimes even bring a recording device - just make sure to ask the doctor for permission.
For more information read our publications, Managing Cancer Pain, Communicating With Your Health Care Team, and “Opening the Door to Effective Pain Management”.
And finally, the American Pain Society offers useful information.
My husband was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I'm confused and frightened by all the information I'm finding on the internet. Can you help?A.
After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, one is often faced with numerous questions and decisions to make in a short amount of time. While pancreatic cancer can be a difficult diagnosis, much progress has been made. Doctors have established a standard of care protocol for people able to have surgery (known as the Whipple Procedure) as well as for those for whom surgery is not an option.
There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet and I recommend these reputable resources:
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is an organization that provides information about treatment options, specialists, clinical trials, support groups, diet and nutrition. They work to increase funding for research and awareness of pancreatic cancer.
The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Research and the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer can provide up-to-date diagnosis and treatment information.
I was diagnosed last fall with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer. The survival rates are not great, but I am quite hopeful. My 18-year-old daughter, however, has told me that she cannot be hopeful because she can't handle being let down if I die. While this makes sense to me, what can I do to help her?A.
Everyone responds differently to a cancer diagnosis – some people are optimistic, and others, like your daughter, are afraid to be hopeful. Your ability to respect your daughter’s views and understand the difficulty she is having with your diagnosis is important. While you may not be able to change her outlook, you can be supportive of her through this challenging situation.
Encourage your daughter to share her thoughts and feelings about your diagnosis with you. What are her fears? Worries? Hopes? Allowing her to express her feelings freely can provide you with the opportunity to talk openly about your situation. You can even start the conversation by sharing your own worries, hopes, and fears with her. Telling her that you, too, have uncertainties will help to validate her feelings and make it easier for her to open up.
Communication is the key for families coping with cancer. By opening up to your daughter, you are showing her that it’s okay to discuss her feelings. The fact that she has expressed her fears about being let down indicates that she feels the two of you have a trusting relationship. It is understandable that you want your daughter to be optimistic; however, your being able to accept her fears gives her permission to share exactly how she is feeling.
Teens often struggle talking with their parents about illness. Look to adult relatives, teachers, and coaches as potential sources of support for your daughter. She may also benefit from talking one-on-one with a counselor. She can call us and speak with an oncology social worker and we can also help her find local support services.
Your daughter might also find helpful resources online that are specifically designed for teens with a parent with cancer, such as Cancer Really Sucks.
For yourself, CancerCare offers support groups for people coping with coping with cancer. This is a safe place to discuss all the concerns and issues that arise from your diagnosis. Please contact us at 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) for more information.
Magnolia Meals at Home
A meal delivery program that helps patients by providing nourishing meals to households affected by cancer. Is currently available in and around Woodcliff Lake, NJ and Andover, MA, Raleigh-Durham, NC and New Haven, CT (as well areas in New York, New Hampshire and Boston, MA). For more information please visit magnoliamealsathome.com or contact Kathy Nugent, LCSW at 800-813-4673, ext. 6809.
Browse all CancerCare services
For Pancreatic Cancer
CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
Let's Win: Sharing Science Solutions for Pancreatic Cancer
National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research
The Lustgarten Foundation
General Cancer Resources
American Cancer Society
Cancer Support Community
National Cancer Institute