Pancreatic Cancer

Physician grows primary care practice on his farm

When his 69-year-old father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a few months to live, Ron Weiss quit his job as a Los Angeles emergency room physician and returned to New Jersey to help.

Aug 04, 2015
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Pancreatic cancer refers to a malignant neoplasm originating from transformed cells arising in tissues forming the pancreas. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of these tumors, is adenocarcinoma (tumors exhibiting glandular architecture on light microscopy) arising within the exocrine component of the pancreas. A minority arise from islet cells, and are classified as neuroendocrine tumors. The symptoms that lead to diagnosis depend on the location, the size, and the tissue type of the tumor. They may include abdominal pain and jaundice (if the tumor compresses the bile duct).

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death across the globe. Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis: for all stages combined, the 1- and 5-year relative survival rates are 25% and 6%, respectively; for local disease the 5-year survival is approximately 20% while the median survival for locally advanced and for metastatic disease, which collectively represent over 80% of individuals, is about 10 and 6 months respectively.

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