Home > Health A – Z > Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. NIH - National Cancer Institute

Types of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Exocrine Cancer (95% of Pancreatic Cancers)

A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. Also called exocrine cancer....Read more about Pancreatic Exocrine Cancer

Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

A tumor that forms in islet cells (hormone-making cells) of the pancreas. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer)....Read more about Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Venous Thromboembolism: Reducing the Risk of Venous Thromboembolism (Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism) in Patients Admitted to Hospital

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a term used to include the formation of a blood clot (a thrombus) in a vein which may dislodge from its site of origin to travel in the blood, a phenomenon called embolism. A thrombus most commonly occurs in the deep veins of the legs; this is called deep vein thrombosis. A dislodged thrombus that travels to the lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism.

Chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer: analysis of 43 randomized trials in 3 decades (1974-2002)

Bibliographic details: Fung M C, Takayama S, Ishiguro H, Sakata T, Adachi S, Morizane T.  Chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer: analysis of 43 randomized trials in 3 decades (1974-2002). Chemotherapy 2003; 30(8): 1101-1111

[Efficacy of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy in pancreatic cancer patients after surgical resection: a meta-analysis]

Bibliographic details: Wang SL, Lin Y, Gao S, Hu TY, Wu R.  [Efficacy of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy in pancreatic cancer patients after surgical resection: a meta-analysis]. World Chinese Journal of Digestology 2011; 19(31): 3272-3276

See all (271)

Summaries for consumers

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (Islet Cell Tumors) Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (islet cell tumors).

Celiac plexus block (CPB) in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer‐related pain

Abdominal pain is a major symptom in patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is often difficult to treat. Celiac plexus block (CPB) is a safe and effective method for reducing this pain. It involves the chemical destruction of the nerve fibres that convey pain from the abdomen to the brain. We searched for studies comparing CPB with standard analgesic therapy in patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer. We were interested in the primary outcome of pain, measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS). We also looked at the amount of opioid (morphine‐like drugs) patients took (opioid consumption) and adverse effects of the treatment. Six studies (358 participants) comparing CPB with standard therapy (painkillers) met our inclusion criteria. At four weeks pain scores were significantly lower in the CPB group. Opioid consumption was also significantly lower than in the control group. The main adverse effects were diarrhoea or constipation (this symptom was significantly more likely in the control group, where opioid consumption was higher). Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS)‐guided CPB is becoming popular as a minimally invasive technique that has fewer risks, but we were not able to find any RCTs assessing this method (current medical literature on this subject is limited to studies without control groups). Although the data on EUS‐guided CPB and pain control are promising, we await rigorously designed RCTs that may validate these findings. We conclude that, although statistical evidence is minimal for the superiority of pain relief over analgesic therapy, the fact that CPB causes fewer adverse effects than opioids is important for patients.

See all (44)

Terms to know

Endocrine Glands
A group of specialized cells that release hormones into the blood. For example, the islets in the pancreas, which secrete insulin, are endocrine glands.
Exocrine Glands
An organ that makes one or more substances, such as sweat, tears, saliva, or milk. Exocrine glands release the substances into a duct or opening to the inside or outside of the body.
Hormones
A chemical produced in one part of the body and released into the blood to trigger or regulate particular functions of the body. For example, insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that tells other cells when to use glucose for energy. Synthetic hormones, made for use as medicines, can be the same or different from those made in the body.
Pancreas
An organ that makes insulin and enzymes for digestion. The pancreas is located behind the lower part of the stomach and is about the size of a hand.

More about Pancreatic Cancer

Photo of an adult

Also called: Cancer of the pancreas

Other terms to know: See all 4
Endocrine Glands, Exocrine Glands, Hormones

Related articles:
For Health Professionals: Pancreatic Exocrine Cancer
For Health Professionals: Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
Cancer: Anxiety and Distress

Keep up with systematic reviews on Pancreatic Cancer:

RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...