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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is pancreatic cancer?
The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach that produces digestive enzymes. When pancreatic cells grow and divide abnormally, they can form a tumor and turn cancerous.
What types of pancreatic cancer are there?
Pancreatic cancers can be exocrine or endocrine. Exocrine cancers (cancers of the exocrine pancreas) are the most common type of pancreatic cancer. They occur in the exocrine glands that produce pancreatic juices, which are released into the …
What causes pancreatic cancer?
The exact reasons for the cell damage that cause pancreatic cells to become cancerous are not known.
How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?
Pancreatic cancer is ultimately diagnosed by a pathologist who examines a biopsy. Prior to that, diagnostic tests include blood tests, CT, MRI and PET scans, endoscopy, laparoscopy and by a tissue biopsy sent to pathology.
How is pancreatic cancer treated?
Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapy are the treatment options for pancreatic cancer.
When is surgery for pancreatic cancer possible?
Surgery for pancreatic cancer is possible only when the tumor has not spread to major nerves, blood vessels or other organs. It is not recommended for stage III and IV cancers.
What surgeries are performed for pancreatic cancer?
If the cancer is in the head of the pancreas, the Whipple operation is performed. This is where a portion of the gall bladder, bile ducts and sometimes stomach are removed. If the cancer is in the tail end of the pancreas, a procedure …
What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss and paler stool color.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 20 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Votes: 92 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Pancreatic cancer