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ESMO Patient Guides COVID19 1000x250

Outpatient visits

High priority

Your outpatient appointment may be a high priority if:

  • You have been newly diagnosed with resectable pancreatic cancer. However, some of your scheduled appointments to plan your surgery might be replaced with telephone appointments in order to reduce your number of hospital visits
  • You have recently undergone surgery to remove your pancreatic cancer and are experiencing symptoms that may be linked to the surgery, e.g. bleeding or shortness of breath
  • You are experiencing potentially serious symptoms of your pancreatic cancer such as jaundice, severe abdominal pain and/or a build up of fluid in your abdomen
  • You have been newly diagnosed with unresectable pancreatic cancer and are experiencing symptoms such as jaundice, pain and/or weight loss

Medium priority

Your outpatient appointment may be a medium priority if:

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    You develop any new mild or moderate symptoms relating to your pancreatic cancer. However, you might be able to have an appointment via telephone in order to discuss these new symptoms with your doctor rather than going to the hospital
  • It is a follow-up visit and your doctor thinks that you have a high risk of relapse

Low priority

Your outpatient appointment may be a low priority if:

  • You have recently undergone surgery to remove your pancreatic cancer and are not experiencing any symptoms or problems linked to the surgery
  • You have been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer for some time and are not experiencing any new signs or symptoms
  • You have a scheduled follow-up visit (outside of a clinical trial)

Diagnosis and imaging

High priority

Your appointment may be a high priority if:

  • You have an imaging appointment to investigate symptoms related to your pancreatic cancer or treatment you have received
  • You have an imaging appointment because your doctor thinks that you might have pancreatic cancer

Medium priority

Your appointment may be a medium priority if:

  • You have an imaging appointment in order to re-stage your pancreatic cancer following surgery

Low priority

Your appointment may be a low priority if:

  • You have a routine imaging follow-up appointment (outside of a clinical trial)

Surgery

High priority

Your appointment may be a high priority if:

  • You are due to have surgery to remove a pancreatic tumour or a lesion that your doctor thinks is likely to be pancreatic cancer
  • You have been diagnosed with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer and are scheduled to undergo surgery without neoadjuvant therapy
  • You have unresectable pancreatic cancer and are due to have surgery for the placement of a biliary stent
  • You have resectable pancreatic cancer and active cholangitis, and are due to have surgery for the placement of a biliary stent
  • You have recently undergone surgery to remove your pancreatic cancer and are experiencing symptoms that may be linked to the surgery
  • You have an appointment for doctors to take a sample of your tumour (e.g. a biopsy) in order to plan your treatment

Medium priority

Your appointment may be a medium priority if:

  • You are due to have palliative surgery to alleviate common problems associated with pancreatic cancer such as a blockage in your digestive system
  • You are due to have a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube fitted to help with your nutrition

Medical management of localised and locally advanced pancreatic cancer

High priority

Your appointment may be a high priority if:

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    You are scheduled to receive neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment that has not started yet
  • You are currently undergoing neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment
  • You are undergoing treatment given as part of a clinical trial

Medium priority

Your appointment may be a medium priority if:

  • You are scheduled to receive adjuvant treatment but have not yet fully recovered from surgery. Adjuvant treatment should only be delayed up to 12 weeks post-surgery
  • You are an elderly patient with comorbidities and your doctor has already advised that you would not be suitable for treatment with a multi-drug chemotherapy. In these cases, you might be able to receive single-agent chemotherapy providing the potential benefit outweighs the risk of COVID-19 infection. A multidisciplinary team will review your full medical history and will advise on the best approach

Low priority

Your appointment may be a low priority if:

  • You have an imaging follow-up appointment but are not experiencing any new signs or symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Medical management of advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer

High priority

Your appointment may be a high priority if:

  • You are scheduled to receive first-line multidrug chemotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer
  • You are undergoing treatment given as part of a clinical trial

Medium priority

Your appointment may be a medium priority if:

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    You are an elderly patient with no/few signs or symptoms of pancreatic cancer and are due to receive single-agent chemotherapy. In these cases, your treatment may go ahead providing the potential benefit outweighs the risk of COVID-19
  • You are scheduled to begin, or continue with, a second-line treatment. In these cases, your treatment may go ahead providing the potential benefit outweighs the risk of COVID-19

Low priority

Your appointment may be a low priority if:

  • You have an imaging follow-up appointment but are not experiencing any new signs or symptoms of pancreatic cancer
  • You are scheduled to receive treatment with a bone-modifying drug. This is likely to be delayed unless it is considered urgent by your doctor

Additional considerations for the management of pancreatic cancer

  • Treatment with steroids may be reduced or stopped as they can suppress your immune system
  • You may receive additional treatments such as prophylactic growth factors to help boost your immune system or drugs to prevent blood clots from forming in order to make you less vulnerable to serious complications of COVID-19

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