November is World Pancreatic Cancer month, aiming to create awareness on the prevention of this silent disease. The pancreas is a retroperitoneal organ behind the stomach. It is an exocrine gland of the digestive system producing pancreatic enzymes that assist digestion and an endocrine gland producing hormones like insulin and glucagon.

About 70% of pancreatic cancers are found in the head of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer is the 7th leading death cancer worldwide. It has rare or no symptoms and is one of the most difficult malignancies to be treated. The prognosis usually is not very good with only a percentage of 2 to 10% of the patients reaching the 5th year of survival after diagnosis.

Unfortunately, it is not very well known what causes pancreatic cancer. Some of the risk factors are aging, family history, smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, obesity, diabetes type 2, and chronic pancreatitis. There is currently no screening test available for pancreatic cancer.

Keep your pancreas healthy and be pancreatic cancer aware!

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