The pancreas is located near the liver and the top part of the small intestine (duodenum). Pancreatic cancer can develop throughout of the pancreas and may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, liver, lungs or abdomen. Some pancreatic tumors are not cancer (benign), and need to be watched carefully over time for signs they may be turning to cancer. Some pancreatic tumors are "pre-cancerous" (pre-malignant), and usually need to be surgically removed.
Diagnosing pancreatic cancer may be difficult; symptoms are usually not obvious. To evaluate and diagnose pancreatic tumors, Legacy offers a multidisciplinary approach with these elements:
- CT scan, PET scan, MRCP (an MRI focused on the pancreas)
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), also used to screen high-risk patients
Comprehensive, coordinated care
Our Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer Program at Legacy Good Samaritan provides multidisciplinary expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic tumors.
Radiation therapy may be offered to treat tumors in the pancreas. In addition to other radiation methods, Legacy offers stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), an intense, ultra-precise treatment which can target pancreas tumors.
Chemotherapy can be provided in collaboration with medical oncologists in the community. Legacy Cancer Institute has oncology-trained nurses who provide care on the Cancer Care Unit at Good Samaritan, in nursing units at other Legacy hospitals, and in our outpatient infusion clinics. Find a medical oncologist.
Living with a diagnosis of cancer and its treatment can have a profound effect on your functional, emotional, social and spiritual needs. That's why we offer a wide range of support services to help you and your family achieve the highest quality of life possible.