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Cancer of the Pancreas

  • Posted: 07/14/2010

About This Booklet

This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet (NIH Publication No. 10-1560) is about cancer that starts in the pancreas. This disease is also called pancreatic cancer.

In 2013, more than 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. Most will be over 65 years old.

There are two main types of pancreatic cancer.

Most often, pancreatic cancer starts in the ducts that carry pancreatic juices. This type is called exocrine pancreatic cancer. This booklet is about this type.

Much less often, pancreatic cancer begins in the cells that make hormones. This type may be called endocrine pancreatic cancer or islet cell cancer. This booklet is not about endocrine pancreatic cancer. NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237) can provide information about this disease.

Learning about medical care for cancer of the pancreas can help you take an active part in making choices about your care. This booklet tells about:

  • Diagnosis and staging
  • Treatment and supportive care
  • Taking part in research studies

This booklet has lists of questions that you may want to ask your doctor. Many people find it helpful to take a list of questions to a doctor visit. To help remember what your doctor says, you can take notes. You may also want to have a family member or friend go with you when you talk with the doctor—to take notes, ask questions, or just listen.