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Pancreatic Cancer Basics

About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer develops in the tissue of the pancreas, a dual-function organ responsible for both hormone and digestive enzyme production.

Pancreatic cancer is hard to detect in the early stages because there are often no identifiable symptoms. When signs and symptoms do present themselves, they are often similar to other conditions, resulting in uncertain signals as to what’s going on in the body.

There are two types of pancreatic cancer:

  • Adenocarcinoma, also referred to as exocrine tumors, forms in the ducts of the pancreas. These ducts are lined with cells that aid in the digestive process. The majority of pancreatic cancers are this type.
  • Endocrine cancer of the pancreas forms in the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas. Pancreatic hormones help balance blood sugar. This cancer type is very rare.

The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is the same for both men and women. For the latest statistics on pancreatic cancer survival rates, visit the American Cancer Society’s website.

Learn more about this cancer