The pancreas lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine. There are two kinds of cells in the pancreas, exocrine cells, and neuroendocrine cells. Exocrine pancreas cells make enzymes that are released into the small intestine to help the body digest food. Neuroendocrine pancreas cells (such as islet cells) make several hormones, including insulin and glucagon, that help control sugar levels in the blood.
There are two types of pancreatic cancers; however, most often pancreatic cancer starts in the ducts that carry pancreatic digestive juices, which are the exocrine cells. This type of cancer is called exocrine pancreatic cancer and is the most common pancreatic cancer diagnosis. The information on our website will focus on this type of pancreatic cancer.
Much less often, pancreatic cancer begins in the cells that make hormones. This type may be called neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer or islet cell cancer.
You can review other important information visit each of our sections about diagnosing pancreatic cancer, staging the disease, and pancreatic cancer treatment options on our website or you can request a consultation with one of our pancreatic cancer specialists at our offices in Portland and Vancouver where they can answer questions specific to your individual situation.
At Compass Oncology, after your pancreatic cancer diagnosis, one of our cancer specialists will work together with you to develop a cancer treatment plan that’s best for you based on your type of pancreatic cancer, the stage of your pancreatic cancer, your overall health, and various other factors. Your treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Radiation Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
While pancreatic cancer is not the most common type of cancer, each year in the United States, more than 43,000 people are diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. Most are over 65 years old, and smoking or hereditary conditions can affect your risk for pancreatic cancer as well.
Compass Oncology has a team of physicians and nurses in our program that are available to speak with about your hereditary and genetic risks for pancreatic cancer.
Compass Oncology, in affiliation with the US Oncology Network, offers pancreatic cancer clinical research trials for patients in the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA areas. Since our partnership with US Oncology, our patients have participated in clinical research trials that have led to new cancer therapies being approved by the FDA.
From second opinions and oncology nutritional services to our patients benefits representative and oncology social workers, the support specialists at Compass Oncology are here to help you during every step of your cancer journey. We also encourage you to learn more and take advantage of both our Compass Oncology cancer support groups and other local cancer support groups in and around Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA.
From Our Blog: Additional Cancer Resources and Information
Visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about Pancreatic Cancer or ask your cancer care team questions about your individual situation.