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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Types of cancer of the pancreas

Cancers of the pancreas are divided into groups according to their position within the pancreas and the type of cell that the cancer has started from. Cancer occurs more often in the head of the pancreas (70–80%) than in the body or the tail (see pancreas diagram). Nearly all pancreatic cancers start from the cells in the inner lining of the pancreatic ducts. These are channels through which the fluids produced by the pancreas flow out into the small bowel. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma.

There are other very rare tumours that can affect the pancreas. These include:

  • a type of lymphoma – a cancer arising from lymphatic tissue in the pancreas
  • pancreatic sarcoma, which develops in the tissue that holds together the cells of the pancreas.

Our support service nurses can give you more information about the different types of pancreatic cancer.

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