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samson98 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pancreas is a component of the digestive system which is located deep in the abdomen. It has two main glands: exocrine, which produce enzymes that help the body digest food, and endocrine, which help regulate the body's blood sugar.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when the pancreas begins to develop tumors in either of these glands, but tumors on the exocrine glands are far more common than endocrine tumors. The pancreas is wedged between the stomach and the small intestine, which often makes it more difficult to feel pancreatic tumors than tumors on other parts of the body. Consequently, it is one of the most deadly types of cancer. There are many symptoms of pancreatic cancer; some of the more common symptoms include: anemia, anorexia, abdominal and back pain, cramping, depression, and fatigue.

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