my results:  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
  9ways
  What is...?
    Prevention
    Risk
    A Screening Test
 
  How to...
    Estimate Risk
 
  Community Action
 
    Disclaimer
    Privacy Policy
    About This Site
    Link to Us
    Glossary
   

© Copyright 2013
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine


Fact sheet

What is the pancreas?
What is pancreatic cancer?
How common is pancreatic cancer?
Who is at risk for pancreatic cancer?
How do you lower your risk of pancreatic cancer?
What is the screening test for pancreatic cancer?
What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
Where can I get more information?



What is the pancreas?
The pancreas is a small organ in the abdomen that makes digestive fluids to help the body break down food.  It also makes important hormones that control the blood sugar and help the body use energy from food.

What is pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas grow out of control. A group of abnormal cells together can form a malignant (cancerous) tumor. 


Back to top

How common is pancreatic cancer?
Over 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. To compare this with other cancers, click here.

Back to top

Who is at risk of getting pancreatic cancer?
Anyone can get pancreatic cancer. It usually strikes people over age 50, and the risk goes up with age. Men are more likely to get pancreatic cancer than women. People who smoke and people with a family history of pancreatic cancer also have a higher risk.

Back to top

How do you lower your risk of getting pancreatic cancer?
  • Don't smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
Click here for a list of things that affect pancreatic cancer.

Back to top

What is the screening test?
There is no good screening test to find pancreatic cancer in its early stages. If you're concerned about pancreatic cancer, talk to a doctor about your risk.

Back to top

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic cancer often has few symptoms in its early stages. But as the cancer grows, symptoms may include:
  • Pain in the back or stomach (which may ease after meals)
  • Weight loss
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Jaundiced (yellow) look in the eyes and on the skin
These symptoms may also be caused by something less serious. Only a doctor can know for sure. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.


Back to top

For more information on pancreatic cancer, visit this web site: Back to top