The pancreas is made up of two types of cells—exocrine and endocrine.
Exocrine cells produce digestive juices. Endocrine cells produce
hormones, including insulin. Most cancers that begin in the pancreas are
exocrine tumors called adenocarcinomas. Cancerous endocrine
tumors are much less common.
Unfortunately, there are no well-established methods for prevention or
early detection of pancreatic cancer. However, certain risk factors have
been identified for the most common form of pancreatic cancer
(adenocarcinoma). These include having a history of chronic pancreatitis
or having a family history of pancreatic cancer or certain genetic
syndromes (eg, BRCA-related breast and ovarian cancer syndromes, Lynch
syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome). In addition, certain types of pancreatic
cysts have a high potential to progress to pancreatic cancer.
Lankenau Medical Center offers the following services related to
prevention and early detection of pancreatic cancer:
Risk assessment and monitoring in persons with risk factors for
Advanced techniques for evaluation of suspected pancreatic
cancer, including pancreas-dedicated imaging (CT, MRI) and
pancreatic endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.