Pancreatic Cancer: About Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a fish-shaped organ located in the upper abdomen between the stomach and the intestines.  Roughly six inches long and two inches wide, the pancreas helps the body digest and use the energy obtained from food. There are two main types of cells in the pancreas which form exocrine and endocrine components.

The exocrine glands in the pancreas produce important enzymes that break down food so the body can absorb its nutrients. 

The endocrine glands in the pancreas have a different job.  They make hormones including insulin which is critical for balancing the amount of sugar in the blood and is altered in people with diabetes.  Endocrine cells grow in clusters called islets.