The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen that makes digestive juices, insulin, and other hormones. The digestive juices flow through ducts into the intestine. Most pancreatic cancers occur in these ducts.
About 5,800 Canadians are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in Canada. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about the same for both men and women.
Pancreatic cancer is sometimes called a "silent disease" because it is difficult to detect and symptoms do not usually appear until the cancer has grown for quite some time.