Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Pancreatic Cancer

  • Daniel D. von Hoff
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_4356-8



Pancreatic cancer is an adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (carcinoma of the pancreas). Cancer of the pancreas is usually lethal. The pancreas is a gland that secretes both digestive enzymes and insulin (from special cells called islet cells). Estimated new cases and deaths from pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2009 are as follows:
  • New cases: 42,470

  • Deaths: 35,240



The pancreas is located on the upper abdomen located in the midst of many vital organs, including the liver, spleen, stomach, small bowel, and large bowel. Because of its central location, it is very problematic when cancer spreads from the pancreas directly into the adjacent organs. In addition, the head of the pancreas (the portion on the patient’s right side) covers the common bile duct. The common bile duct is the duct through which bile runs from the liver and gall bladder and is mixed with pancreatic juices and then emptied into the small bowel. Blockage...


Pancreatic Cancer Common Bile Duct Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Pancreas Cancer Islet Cell Tumor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona Cancer CenterTucsonUSA