Pancreatic cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the pancreas begin to grow uncontrollably & form a tumor.
Over time, these cancerous cells can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, & abdominal cavity.
There are two main types of pancreatic cancer: exocrine tumors & endocrine tumors.
Exocrine tumors are the most common type & develop in the cells that produce enzymes to help digest food.
Endocrine tumors, also known as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs), develop in the cells that produce hormones such as insulin & glucagon, which regulate blood sugar levels.
The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown, but certain risk factors may increase a person's likelihood of developing the disease.
These include smoking, obesity, chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), a family history of pancreatic cancer, and certain genetic conditions such as Lynch syndrome & BRCA mutations.
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