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Signs of pancreatic cancer

The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach, toward the right side of the abdomen. Pancreatic cancer can be one of two types: exocrine pancreatic cancer or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Exocrine pancreatic cancer is by far the most common, accounting for about 95% of all pancreatic cancers.

Pancreatic risk factors and symptoms

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Family history
  • Pancreatitis

Symptoms may vary, but can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Blood clots
  • Pain in upper abdomen that radiates to the back
  • Appetite loss
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Onset of diabetes

Pancreatic cancer screening and diagnosis

There is no recommended routine screening for pancreatic cancer. If your doctor suspects your symptoms could be related to pancreatic cancer, they may order the following tests to make their diagnosis:

Pancreatic cancer treatment and surgery

Your course of treatment depends on many factors, including your age and general health. Together, you and your doctor and the team of experts at St. Luke’s Health can determine the right course of treatment for you. This could include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Surgery
    • Pancreatectomy
    • Distal pancreatectomy
    • Pancreaticoduodenectomy

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U.S. News & World Report

Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has accredited Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including previous accreditation for compassionate patient-centered cancer care.