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Pancreatic Cancer Program

At Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, our goal is to provide our patients with state-of-the-art treatment for pancreatic cancer without compromising on the compassion and personal touch our hospital is known for. What sets our hospital apart from other pancreatic treatment centers is our access to clinical trials and cutting-edge anti-cancer drugs, which has earned our Cancer Care Center the accreditation from the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer.

In addition, our leading-edge technology, such as the Trilogy System or Tomotherapy machine, provides ultra-precise radiation treatment quickly and effectively-ensuring highly-aggressive treatment with little to no damage to surrounding tissue. To ensure that our patients receive the most well-rounded treatment possible, our physicians meet once a week to discuss specific treatment plans, combining their years of experience and expertise to provide the best possible medical care.

Through the power of state-of-the-art technology, access to cutting-edge medication, and our highly-experienced doctors, PVHMC's Cancer Care Center provides our pancreatic cancer patients with the best possible treatment and outcomes.

For more information on Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center's Cancer Care Center, please call 909.865.9555.

About Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a large organ located between the stomach and the spine, which is why it is difficult to locate a tumor without diagnostic tools. The pancreas is responsible for releasing enzymes that serve several vital functions-it helps the body absorb foods, break down fat, and create insulin and glucagon, which helps the body control blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer has few early symptoms. It is often diagnosed well before any symptoms manifest. In some cases, pancreatic tumors develop near the bile duct, which leads to jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). This may actually benefit patients in the long run, as it alerts doctors sooner to the possibility of tumors in the pancreas.

The few symptoms that do occur include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • High blood sugar
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting

The Types of Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas has two glands: exocrine and endocrine. The exocrine gland produces digestive enzymes, and the endocrine gland produces insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin-essential to blood sugar regulation. Of all pancreatic tumors, 95 percent are exocrine tumors. Endocrine tumors, which are far rarer, are also called neuroendocrine tumors or islet cell tumors.

Islet cell tumors have a subtype for every kind of hormone the endocrine gland produces (i.e. insulinomas, glucagonomas, gastrinomas, etc.) Endocrine tumors tend to develop more slowly than exocrine tumors and vary in form. For example, endocrine tumors can be malignant or benign, or nonfunctional or functional (meaning the tumor produces hormones). Most functional endocrine tumors are benign, but 90 percent of nonfunctional endocrine tumors are cancerous.

For more information about pancreatic cancer, how to cope with cancer treatment, and other issues important to our patients, visit the following organizations' websites for more information or come to the Cancer Care Center and visit our Community Library.