The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen that releases digestive enzymes and hormones. One of the hormone’s insulin helps to manage blood sugar levels. Abnormal growths or tumours can develop in the pancreas. These tumours may either be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).
Cancerous tumours if left untreated can spread to nearby organs and blood vessels. Advanced disease tends to spread to the liver or lungs. The most common form of pancreatic cancer is pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
In Singapore, the incidence of pancreatic cancer has increased over the last 40 years. Between 2003 and 2007, approximately 1,000 cases were diagnosed, making it the 6th and 7th most common cause of cancer death among men and women, respectively.