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Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer affects about 550 people in Ireland each year. The most common type of pancreatic cancer is adenocarcinoma.

Pancreatic cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, depending on the stage.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer develops when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow out of control, forming a tumour. About 550 people are diagnosed with it in Ireland every year.

The most common type of pancreatic cancer is adenocarcinoma. These cancers are found in the head of the pancreas, in the ducts. About 9 in 10 patients will have adenocarcinoma.

Pancreatic cancer may cause very few symptoms in the beginning, but as it grows it can cause symptoms.

What is the pancreas and what does it do?

The pancreas is a gland that is part of your digestive system. It is approximately 6 inches long and lies deep inside your tummy, behind your stomach.

It has 3 main parts: the head, the body and the tail. It is close to several large and important organs and blood vessels.

The pancreas makes digestive juices (enzymes). The digestive juices break down food so that it can be absorbed into the lymph and bloodstreams. The pancreas also makes hormones, including insulin, which control sugar levels in the blood. 

More information about pancreatic cancer treatment

Treatment for pancreatic cancer includes surgery. chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For more information about treatments for pancreatic cancer, visit our treatment page. For specific treatment information use the links below.

Online Community Support

Looking for support?

Our cancer support section contains information and advice on coping with cancer for diagnosed patients and their loved ones.

Publications about pancreatic cancer
Downloadable booklets and factsheets

For more information

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1800 200 700

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