Resection is the only treatment that offers the possibility of cure, but its feasibility will depend on individual criteria such as tumour size and invasion, medical fitness of the patient, and the surgical expertise available. Resection is possible in 10-15% of cases—most commonly, Kausch-Whipple's procedure with or without pylorus preservation.

Post-operative complications include bronchopneumonia, pancreatic fistulae, sepsis, abscess, and haemorrhage—but the mortality rate is less than 10% in specialist centres.

Although surgery is curative for the minority, resection can result in good palliation. The median survival time after surgery is 10-18 months, with a five-year survival rate of 10-24%. The sites of tumour recurrence are:

The majority occur within two years following surgery.

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