Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it's a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced.
HOW IS PANCREATIC CANCER DIAGNOSED?
If your general physician suspects pancreatic cancer, he may require imaging tests such as CT scan and MRI to further investigate. Endoscopic ultrasound helps in definitive diagnosis. A biopsy may also be performed.
HOW IS PANCREATIC CANCER TREATED?
The treatment of pancreatic cancer will be done with surgery that is called a Whipple Procedure. This will remove the head of the pancreas, if the cancer is found there. The pancreatic tail and body may also be removed if the cancer has spread.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths, being responsible for 7% of all cancer-related deaths in both men and women. Approximately 75% of all pancreatic carcinomas occur within the head or neck of the pancreas, 15-20% occur in the body of the pancreas, and 5-10% occur in the tail.