Innovative Pancreatic Cancer Care

Located behind the stomach, the pancreas is an organ that aids in food digestion. When cells grow uncontrollably in the organ, pancreatic cancer can develop. Pancreatic cancer is a kind of gastrointestinal cancer.

There are two main types of pancreatic cancer:

  • Exocrine cancer. The most common type of pancreatic cancer. Nearly all exocrine cancers are adenocarcinomas -- cancer that forms in the glandular tissue lining the pancreas. Less common types include adenosquamous carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, signet ring cell carcinomas, undifferentiated carcinomas, undifferentiated carcinomas with giant cells, and ampullary cancer.
  • Endocrine cancer. Not as common as exocrine cancers, these include neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) or islet cell tumors. Varieties of pancreatic NETs include functioning NITs most of which are gastrinomas or insulinomas. For the most part, endocrine cancer prognosis is better than exocrine cancer prognosis.

Learn about esophageal cancer causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

The Destination for Pancreatic Cancer Care in New Jersey

Together with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, we are the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, meeting the highest standards in cancer research, treatment, prevention and education in the nation. We offer the most advanced treatment options for pancreatic cancer, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and access to clinical trials, many of which are not available elsewhere.

Our fellowship-trained pancreas surgeons perform the highest volume of pancreatic procedures in the state and are national leaders in the field. Procedures are performed at several of the RWJBarnabas Health hospitals located throughout New Jersey.

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New Jersey’s Largest Network of Cancer Specialists

Our team of specialists brings a multidisciplinary, compassionate, and innovative approach to patients with pancreatic cancer. Our integrated cancer care model includes New Jersey’s largest network of pancreatic specialists, comprised of a team of:

  • Nationally recognized surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists
  • Interventional gastroenterologists and radiologists
  • Nurses
  • Oncology nurse navigators
  • Oncology support professionals

Through a collaborative approach, our team provides patients with an individualized treatment plan tailored to each patient’s situation.

The Only Pancreatic Cyst Identification and Surveillance Program in New Jersey

We also offer the only pancreatic cyst identification and surveillance program in the state and one of only a few in the country. The program helps identify precancerous pancreas lesions at an earlier, more treatable stage. Once identified, patients who do not require surgery are longitudinally surveilled for progression.

Oncology Nurse Navigators Guide You

Nurse navigators help secure appointments, coordinate follow-up visits related to treatments and procedures, and guide you through aspects of survivorship.

To schedule an appointment with one of New Jersey’s best gastrointestinal cancer specialists, call 844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

Pancreatic Cancer Causes

The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown. Researchers do know, however, that genetics play an important role in the development and progression of the disease. They also know that certain behaviors and conditions (risk factors) increase the chances of getting the disease.

Pancreatic cancer risk factors that can be controlled include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Workplace exposure to certain chemicals

Pancreatic cancer risk factors that cannot be controlled include:

  • Age. Almost all patients are at least 45.
  • Gender. Men have a slightly higher chance than women.
  • Family history. Pancreatic cancer seems to run in families.
  • Inherited genetic syndromes. Gene changes (mutations) are passed from parent to child.

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer symptoms may not present in the early stages of the disease. As cancer grows and reaches advanced stages, patients may experience pancreatic cancer symptoms, including:

  • Upper abdomen, back or arm pain
  • Painful swelling of an arm or leg due to a blood clot
  • Stomach burning or other gastrointestinal discomforts
  • Bloating
  • Floating stools with a bad odor and unusual color due to the body not digesting fats well
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills and sweats
  • Fever
  • Weight loss for no known reason

Patients should make an appointment with their physician if they notice signs of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

The following are common diagnostic tests to detect pancreatic cancer:

  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Cholangiopancreatography
  • Angiography
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy

Patients may need further testing to better define the type and stage of pancreatic cancer after the initial diagnosis.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Our multidisciplinary team of specialists provides the most advanced pancreatic cancer treatment options in a compassionate and welcoming environment.

Patients are provided an individualized pancreatic cancer treatment plan specific to their disease and its stage.

Pancreatic cancer treatment options we offer include:

  • Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy)
  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Central pancreatectomy
  • Minimally invasive pancreatectomy (robotic and laparoscopic)
  • Enhanced recovery after surgery pathways (ERAS) for pancreas
  • Clinical trials
  • Pancreatic cyst surveillance program
  • Diagnostic interventional gastroenterology services with endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Advanced radiographic procedures

To schedule an appointment with one of New Jersey’s best gastrointestinal cancer specialists, call 844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.




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