A diagnosis from any Palmer cancer center of pancreatic cancer is serious and should be followed up by a thorough action plan that involves plenty of consultation with the patient and aggressive treatment. The cancer is relatively rare in the U.S. with men and women only having about a 1.5 percent chance of developing it over their lifetimes. It makes up approximately 3 percent of cancer diagnoses in the U.S. and 7 percent of cancer-related deaths.
The pancreas is a small, almost fish-shaped organ in the body that sits behind the stomach and has a small tapered end that extends to the left side of the body. While you might forget it’s there, the pancreas serves some important functions. It assists in the digestion of food by secreting digestive enzymes to break the food down as it moves into the small intestine. It also creates insulin and glucagon to regulate sugar in the blood.
Little is known about the cause of pancreatic cancer, though there are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing it, such as smoking and a history of chronic pancreatitis. When exocrine or endocrine cells in the pancreas start developing out of control, a cancer tumor may be present. Our doctors should be able to detect the presence of a tumor using advanced imaging tests and biopsy for a primary diagnosis or second opinion.
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Although pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, it is also fast moving. About 20 percent of patients with a diagnosis make it through to the next year. There are many factors that affect survival rate, including the type and stage of the cancer and the Palmer pancreatic cancer treatment methods used. At Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center, hope is here. Our doctors will create a plan tailored to your needs, and we will explore all of our options to fight your cancer. For more information about our treatment methods, contact us by calling 907-707-1333.