The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach, toward the right side of the abdomen. Pancreatic cancer can be one of two types: exocrine pancreatic cancer or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Exocrine pancreatic cancer is by far the most common, accounting for about 95% of all pancreatic cancers.
What are the risk factors and symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:
Symptoms may vary but can include:
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Blood clots
- Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back
- Appetite loss
- Unintended weight loss
- Onset of diabetes
How do you screen for pancreatic cancer?
There is no recommended routine screening for pancreatic cancer. If your doctor suspects your symptoms could be related to pancreatic cancer, they may order the following tests to make their diagnosis:
- CT scans
- PET scans
- Blood tests
What is the treatment for pancreatic cancer?
Your course of treatment depends on many factors, including your age and general health. Together, you and your doctor and the team of experts at St. Luke’s Health can determine the right course of treatment for you. This could include:
- Radiation therapy
- Distal pancreatectomy