What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer occurs when a cell in the pancreas is damaged and this malignant (cancer) cell starts to grow out of control.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the U.S.

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

Types of Pancreatic Cancers

There are several types of pancreatic cancers, including the following:

  • Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (the most common type of pancreatic cancer)
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

The following are the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen (belly) or upper back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • An enlarged abdomen

Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for pancreatic cancer may include the following:

Treatment for pancreatic cancer

Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on the type and stage. Pancreatic cancer may be treated with the following:

Long-term prognosis for individuals with pancreatic cancer depends on the size and type of the tumor, lymph node involvement, and degree of metastases (spreading) at the time of diagnosis.

For more information on treatment for pancreatic cancer or to schedule an appointment, contact Christian Hospital at 314.747.9355 or toll-free at 877.747.9355 or email us.