What is pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer starts with uncontrolled cell growth in the cells that make up the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that is composed of exocrine cells that produce digestive enzymes and endocrine cells that produce hormones for sugar metabolism. Most pancreatic cancers arise from exocrine cells and can include: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma, Adenosquamous carcinomas, Squamous cell carcinomas, Signet ring cell carcinomas and Ampullary cancer. Tumors that arise in the endocrine cells are less common and can include: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and islet cell tumors. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat even when diagnosed early. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and targeted drug therapy.
How common is pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is the twelfth most common type of cancer and affects men slightly more than women. It is estimated that there are 53,670 new cases of pancreatic cancer per year in the United States.1 Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed most frequently between the age groups of 65-74 and 75-84. Risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include: smoking cigarettes, obesity, chemical exposure, age and history of diabetes.1
Questions regarding your pancreatic cancer therapy
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1. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/pancreas.html as of 7/10/17
What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer may not cause symptoms early on. Symptoms that do occur may be one or more of the following:
- Upper abdominal pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin and whites of eyes)
- Dark urine
- Light-colored or greasy stools
How is it diagnosed
There are no routine screening tests recommended for pancreatic cancer. If pancreatic cancer is suspected by you or your doctor, testing can be performed by one or more of the following to confirm the diagnosis:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed tomography (CT)
Accredo, a specialty pharmacy for pancreatic cancer, dispenses specialty and non-specialty pancreatic cancer medications including (but not limited to):
|Abraxane® (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension)||Celgene|
|Sutent® (sunitinib malate)||Pfizer|
|Tarceva® (erlotinib)||OSI Pharmaceuticals|
Accredo also dispenses traditional chemotherapy medications as well as supportive care medications ordered by your prescriber that are not listed above.
Financing Your Care
Financial assistance coordination may be available to help with your medication costs, including manufacturer and community programs. Accredo representatives are available to help find a program that may work for you.
Life-saving specialty medication can be expensive. Learn how the Accredo teams help individuals find ways to afford the medication they need to survive in this video.
There are many organizations that support research and advocacy for pancreatic cancer. See below for a few of those organizations.
Pancreatic Cancer Organizations
- Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
- The National Pancreas Foundation
- National Pancreatic Care Foundation
Cancer Support Organizations
There are many organizations that support research and advocacy for cancer. See below for a few of those organizations.
- American Cancer Society
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Association of Cancer Online Resources
- Cancer Support Community
- Livestrong Foundation
- National Foundation for Cancer Research
- Prevent Cancer Foundation
- Conquer Cancer Foundation
- Cancer GRACE
- National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network
- Patient Advocate Foundation
Meet the Team
Accredo’s oncology care team is dedicated to serving you and we understand the complexity of your condition. Our specialty-trained clinicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer any questions.
Why We Do It
Accredo supports patients with chronic and complex conditions and helps them live their best life. Watch our video to learn why we do what we do for our patients.