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Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer cells begin in the tissues forming the pancreas. These accumulating cells can form a tumor. The most common type of pancreatic cancer is adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 95 percent of pancreatic tumors. Other types of pancreatic cancer include: neuroendocrine tumors, insulinoma and pancreatic cysts, such as MCN and IPMN. In addition, pancreatic cancer can also involve other structures near the pancreas. such as the portal vein. This is referred to as locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer

Factors that may increase your risk of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Being African-American
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Diabetes
  • Personal or family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Family history of certain cancer syndromes can increase cancer risk, including a familial breast cancer (BRCA2), Lynch syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, Familial Melanoma and Hereditary colon cancer (HNPCC)
  • Lifestyle related, such as smoking, alcohol use and high fat diet

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Often, pancreatic cancer does not cause symptoms during early stages. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms associated with pancreatic disease may develop, such as:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes)
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Lack of appetite, nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bowel changes such as diarrhea, light-colored stools and/or dark urine
  • Itching

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek proper evaluation and treatment from a healthcare expert experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal issues.

Expert Care You Can Trust!

Hoag Family Cancer Institute, in collaboration with digestive disorder physician specialists, USC Care Medical Group and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, provide state-of-the-art complex hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer care. Hoag’s committed to accurate diagnosis, combined with progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.

To schedule a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, or a second-opinion consultation with a Hoag pancreatic cancer expert, contact us at 949-764-5350.