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Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is treated in our Bile Duct, Gallbladder, Liver, and Pancreas Cancer Program within the Upstate Cancer Center.

For more information or answers to your questions about our Cancer Care, please call 315 464-HOPE (4673) to speak with an Upstate Cancer Center representative.

Summary

The pancreas is a gland behind your stomach and in front of your spine. It produces the juices that help break down food and the hormones that help control blood sugar levels. Pancreatic cancer usually begins in the cells that produce the juices. Some risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Long-term diabetes
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Certain hereditary disorders

Pancreatic cancer is hard to catch early. It doesn't cause symptoms right away. When you do get symptoms, they are often vague or you may not notice them. They include yellowing of the skin and eyes, pain in the abdomen and back, weight loss and fatigue. Also, because the pancreas is hidden behind other organs, health care providers cannot see or feel the tumors during routine exams. Doctors use a physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy to diagnose it.

Because it is often found late and it spreads quickly, pancreatic cancer can be hard to treat. Possible treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute


Source: https://medlineplus.gov/pancreaticcancer.html

Library resources related to pancreatic cancer.

For more information:

Internet Links
The detailed guide includes descriptions of the causes, risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, staging, and treatments and what's new in pancreatic cancer research.
Approved drugs for treatment of pancreatic cancer from the National Institute of Health's National Cancer Institute.
Health information on pancreatic cancer from the Mayo Clinic Foundation, includes: description, symptoms, causes, risk factors, complications, tests and diagnosis, treatments and drugs, and alternative medicine.
Link to a search of the MedlinePlus database for health information on pancreatic cancer. MedlinePlus links are managed by medical librarians at the National Library of Medicine.
An electronic booklet about medical care for pancreatic cancer from the National Cancer Institute. The booklet includes information on risk factors, diagnosis, staging, treatment, follow-up care, and cancer research.
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