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Pancreatic Cancer

  201-227-6008    |      cancer@holyname.org

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Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas, an organ that makes enzymes for digestion and hormones to regulate blood sugar levels. It is rarely detected at an early stage and, at advanced stages, is difficult to cure.

Approximately 55,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S. It is slightly more common in men that women.

The Patricia Lynch Cancer Center at Holy Name has a multi-disciplinary team of experienced and skilled surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses and support staff to treat pancreatic cancer. Together they provide a compassionate, unified approach in creating a personal strategy for each patient's unique medical, emotional and lifestyle needs.


  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • New onset diabetes
  • Jaundice

Risk Factors

  • Pancreatitis (Chronic inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Older age


  • History and physical exam
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • PET Scan
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Biopsy
  • Blood tests


Treatment depends on the stage and location of the cancer, and the overall health of the patient. Surgery is the only type of treatment that offers a chance for a cure. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used in conjunction with surgery for patients whose disease is potentially curable or as a primary therapy when surgery is not indicated. Pain control may be an important component of managing pancreatic cancer.