Francis W. Nugent, MD
Dr. F.W. Nugent is a medical oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal cancers with a special interest in pancreatic cancer. Dr. Nugent graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelors degree in religion before graduating from Albany Medical College. He presently serves as vice-chairman of medical oncology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Keith E. Stuart, MD
Dr. Keith E. Stuart is a medical oncologist specializing in the study and treatment of cancers involving the gastrointestinal tract, with a special interest in tumors involving the liver. He was educated at Harvard University (graduating magna cum laude) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine and did his medical training at the New England Deaconess Hospital.
- Pancreatic cancer facts
- What is the pancreas, and what is the function of the pancreas?
- What is cancer?
- What is pancreatic cancer?
- What are pancreatic cancer causes and risk factors?
- What are the symptoms and signs of pancreatic cancer?
- How is the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer made?
- How is pancreatic cancer staged?
- What is the treatment for resectable pancreatic cancer?
- What is the treatment for locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer?
- What is the treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer?
- What are side effects of pancreatic cancer treatment?
- What is the prognosis of pancreatic cancer?
- What research is being done on pancreatic cancer?
- Is complimentary or alternative therapy effective in pancreatic cancer treatment?
- Can pancreatic cancer be prevented?
- Where can people get support when coping with pancreatic cancer?
- Where can people find additional information about pancreatic cancer?
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Pancreatic cancer facts
- Most pancreatic cancers are adenocarcinomas.
- Few patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have identifiable risk factors.
- Pancreatic cancer is highly lethal.
- Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose, and the diagnosis often is made late in the course of the disease. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer in its late stage include weight loss and back pain. In some cases, painless jaundice may be a symptom of early, operable pancreatic cancer.
- The only curative treatment is surgical removal of all cancer.
- Chemotherapy after surgery can lower the chances of the cancer returning.
- Chemotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer can extend life and improve the quality of life for people with the disease.
- Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are encouraged to seek out clinical trials to improve pancreatic cancer treatment.
- Many organizations exist to help provide information and support for patients and families fighting pancreatic cancer.
What is the pancreas, and what is the function of the pancreas?
The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen that sits in front of the spine above the level of the belly button. It performs two main functions. First, it makes insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels; and second, it makes enzymes which help break down proteins. The enzymes help digestion by chopping proteins into smaller parts so that they can be more easily absorbed by the body and used for energy. Enzymes leave the pancreas via a system of tubes called "ducts" that connect the pancreas to the intestines. The pancreas sits deep in the belly and is in close proximity to many important structures such as the small intestine (the duodenum) and the bile ducts, as well as important blood vessels and nerves.
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