cancer occurs when cells of the pancreas grow abnormally to form a tumor. The pancreas is a gland that normally makes juices that help break down food and produces insulin and other hormones. Pancreatic cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms right away, but can cause yellowing of the skin and eyes, pain in the abdomen and back, weight loss, and fatigue. Some risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include smoking, long-term diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, and certain hereditary disorders. Because pancreatic cancer is often found late and it spreads quickly, it can be hard to treat. Possible treatments include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Last updated: 9/17/2013