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.

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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:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • 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.

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