What Is Pancreatic Cancer?

Q:
What is pancreatic cancer?

A:
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.

Pancreatic cancer is hard to spot in the early stages. It doesn’t cause symptoms right away. When symptoms do appear, they are often vague or may not be noticed. These 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, doctors cannot see or feel the tumors during routine examinations. But the cancer can be detected from a physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.