Pancreatic Cancer Awareness
The lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 71 (1.41%). It is about the same for both men and women.
- About 43,920 people (22,090 men and 21,830 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- About 37,390 people (18,850 men and 18,540 women) will die of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells of the pancreatic duct; the tube that drains the juices made by the pancreas to aid digestion in the small intestine. The pancreas also makes hormones, such as insulin and glucagon. The hormones go directly into the bloodstream to help the body use and store the energy it gets from food. The pancreas is located behind the stomach.
Types of pancreatic tumors:
Exocrine Tumors are the most common type of pancreatic cancer. About 95% of cancers of the exocrine pancreas are adenocarcinomas. These cancers usually begin in the ducts of the pancreas, but they sometimes develop from the cells that make the pancreatic enzymes.
Endocrine Tumors of the pancreas are uncommon. As a group, they are known as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), or sometimes as islet cell tumors. There are several subtypes of islet cell tumors; one example is an Insulinoma tumor.
It is very important to distinguish between exocrine and endocrine cancers of the pancreas. They have distinct risk factors and causes, have different signs and symptoms, are diagnosed using different tests, are treated in different ways, and have different prognoses.
Source: American Cancer Society - What is Pancreatic Cancer?.