Comprehensive Care for Pancreatic Cancer
Catholic Health Cancer Institutes across Long Island offer advanced care for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is one of two types.
- Exocrine pancreatic cancer is the most common type that begins in the ducts carrying pancreatic juices.
- Endocrine pancreatic (or Islet Cell) cancer starts in the pancreas cells that make hormones.
Our oncologists work closely with you to create a customized treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Early pancreatic cancer does not usually cause symptoms, but make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Dark urine
- Pale stools
- Stool that floats in the toilet
- Pain in the upper part of the belly or middle of your back that does not go away when you change your position
- Poor appetite, indigestion and nausea
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
Pancreatic cancer is more common in men than women and is more frequently diagnosed in people ages 65-74.
People with certain risk factors may be more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, including:
- Family history of pancreatic cancer
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Genetic syndromes
- Inflammation of the pancreas
People at highest risk have one or more of the following:
- Two or more blood relatives with pancreatic cancer
- Hereditary cancer syndromes (Peutz-Jeghers, Lynch Syndrome/HNPCC, MEN1 or von Hippel Lindau)
- A known mutation in the BRCA2, PALB2, ATM or p16/CDKN2A gene
- Hereditary pancreatitis
Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect at early stages. Although a single test does not exist for screening, your doctor may recommend the following if you have certain risk factors or are showing signs and symptoms.
- Blood test to measure the level of CA-19-9 proteins, a protein released by pancreatic cancer cells
- Imaging tests such as endoscopic ultrasound and MRI
- Genetic consultation and testing
- Periodic evaluation
Treatment methods will vary depending on the cancer type and stage. Standard treatment options include:
- Surgery. Removes a tumor from the pancreas or the entire pancreas and other tissues, lymph nodes or other affected organs.
- Radiation therapy. Targets and eliminates cancer cells with high-energy radiation.
- Medical therapy. Different types of drugs, including chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.