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What is the pancreas?
It is a gland that lies horizontally behind the lower part of the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas secretes digestive juices and hormones (insulin and glucagon) that regulate blood sugar. Cells called exocrine cells produce the digestive juices, while endocrine cells produce the hormones. The majority of pancreatic cancers start in the exocrine cells.
What is pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic carcinoma is cancer of the pancreas. This type of cancer falls into two major categories:
Cancers of the endocrine pancreas (this part makes insulin) are called “islet cell” or “pancreatic neuroendocrine” cancers. The second type is cancers of the exocrine pancreas (the part that makes enzymes). Neuroendocrine cancers are rare and typically less aggressive compared to exocrine pancreatic cancers. Exocrine pancreatic cancers develop from the cells that line the system of ducts that deliver enzymes to the small intestine and are referred to…
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