About Pancreatic Cancer


About the Pancreas


The pancreas is a large, oblong or fish-shaped organ situated just behind the stomach. An integral part of the body's digestive system, the organ often receives little attention until something goes awry. That is because the pancreas releases several important enzymes that help the body absorb foods, especially fats; it also makes insulin and glucagon, hormones that help the body control vitally important blood sugar levels. When the balance of these enzymes or hormones is upset, the overall health of a patient can deteriorate quickly. A healthy pancreas is essential to a healthy body and a long life.

 

Because the pancreas is deep within the abdomen, sandwiched between the stomach and spine, it is usually difficult to feel when a tumor is present. Often, sophisticated diagnostic equipment is needed to confirm that a tumor has developed.

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