Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cancer Pancreas Anatomy

To better understand pancreatic cancer, it helps to understand the anatomy of the pancreas.

The pancreas is located deep in the abdomen behind the stomach.

The pancreas produces digestive enzymes that are delivered into the upper intestines. These enzymes allow food to be broken down and absorbed. The pancreas also produces insulin, which is released into the bloodstream. This hormone is essential for the control of blood sugar.

Pancreas anatomy:

  • Location of pancreas inside abdomen
  • Cutaway view of pancreas and duodenum
  • Diagram of pancreas and nearby structures
  • Pancreas anatomy with diagram of beta cells

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer Pancreas References
  1. Burris HA 3rd. Recent updates on the role of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Semin Oncol. 2005 Aug;32(4 Suppl 6):S1-3. [16143160]
  2. Farrow B, Sugiyama Y, Chen A, Uffort E, Nealon W, Mark Evers B. Inflammatory mechanisms contributing to pancreatic cancer development. Ann Surg. 2004 Jun;239(6):763-9. [15166955]
  3. Holly EA, Chaliha I, Bracci PM, Gautam M. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer: a population-based case-control study in the San Francisco Bay area. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Jun;2(6):510-7. [15181621]
  4. Lockhart AC, Rothenberg ML, Berlin JD. Treatment for pancreatic cancer: current therapy and continued progress. Gastroenterology. 2005 May;128(6):1642-54. [15887156]
  5. Nothlings U, Wilkens LR, Murphy SP, Hankin JH, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN. Meat and fat intake as risk factors for pancreatic cancer: the multiethnic cohort study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Oct 5;97(19):1458-65. [16204695]
  6. Verma M. Pancreatic cancer epidemiology. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Jun;4(3):295-301. [15896085]
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