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Cancer of the Pancreas

  • Posted: 07/14/2010

The Pancreas

The pancreas is an organ that is about 6 inches long. It’s located deep in your belly between your stomach and backbone. Your liver, intestine, and other organs surround your pancreas.

This picture shows the pancreas and nearby organs.
This picture shows the pancreas and nearby organs.

This picture shows the head, body, and tail of the pancreas.
This picture shows the head, body, and tail of the pancreas.

The widest part of the pancreas is called the head. The head of the pancreas is closest to the small intestine. The middle section is called the body, and the thinnest part is called the tail.

The pancreas makes pancreatic juices. These juices contain enzymes that help break down food. The juices flow through a system of ducts leading to the main pancreatic duct. The pancreatic juices flow through the main duct to the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.

The pancreas is also a gland that makes insulin and other hormones. These hormones enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. They help the body use or store the energy that comes from food. For example, insulin helps control the amount of sugar in the blood.