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Pancreatic Cancer

July 10, 2015 -

Exocrine and endocrine cells are what forms pancreatic cancer. Exocrine cells commonly form pancreatic cancer. It is important to know whether the tumor is from an exocrine cell or an endocrine cell because there are different signs and symptoms.

Exocrine tumors are adenocarcinomas, cancers that start in gland cells. There is a special type of cancer called ampullary cancer. It starts where the bile and pancreatic duct empty into the small intestine. Symptoms happen even when the cancer is still small, so it is usually found at an early stage. Endocrine tumors are less common. They are known as islet cell tumors or neuroendocrine tumors. There are many types of endocrine tumors but a majority of them are not cancerous. The outlook for endocrine tumors is usually better than that of exocrine tumors.

In 2015, the American Cancer Society estimated 48,960 new cases for pancreatic cancer in the United States and 40,560 deaths from it. The lifetime risk of receiving pancreatic cancer is 1 in 67. However, a person’s risk can be influenced by many factors.

As of now, no one knows exactly what causes pancreatic cancer. There are a few risk factors that are known that determine the chances of having pancreatic cancer. Some risk factor can be changed while others cannot.

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