Learn more about pancreatic cancer

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:46:04 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 04 2013 01:46:59 PM EST

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas -- an organ in your abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas secretes enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help regulate the metabolism of sugars.

Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it's a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced and surgical removal isn't possible.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pancreatic-cancer/DS00357