What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is cancer that starts in the pancreas, a gland that produces digestive juices and hormones.

Pancreatic cancer symptoms

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer include pain in the stomach area or back, yellowing of the skin or whites of your eyes (jaundice), and weight loss. 

Risks and causes

Some lifestyle factors, inherited cancer syndromes and certain medical conditions can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Getting diagnosed

Find out about seeing your GP and when they might refer you to a specialist. Get information on the tests you might have to help diagnose pancreatic cancer. 


Stages, types and grades

Stage means the size of the cancer and whether it has spread. Type means the type of cell it started from. Grade means how abnormal the cells look.


Your treatment depends on the position of the cancer in the pancreas, how big it is, whether it has spread, and your general health.

Living with pancreatic cancer

Get support to cope during and after pancreatic cancer treatment, including information about diet.

Research and clinical trials

Find out about the latest UK research looking at pancreatic cancer, as well as how you can take part in clinical trials.

Advanced cancer

Advanced pancreatic cancer means the cancer has spread outside the pancreas to other areas of the body. Find out about treatment to help control the cancer, relieve symptoms, and where to get support.

Survival for pancreatic cancer

Survival depends on many factors including the stage and type of your cancer. These figures for pancreatic cancer survival can only be used as a general guide.

Resources and support

Find out about organisations, support groups, books, videos and other resources to help you cope with pancreatic cancer and its treatment.

Last reviewed: 
10 Sep 2019
Next review due: 
10 Oct 2022

Page Credits: 

This section is written, reviewed and updated by Cancer Research UK’s Patient Information Web Team. Thanks to the expert medical professionals and people affected by cancer who have helped to review this information.

  • Dr Pippa Corrie (Consultant Oncologist)
  • Professor Brian Davidson (Consultant HPB and Liver Transplant Surgeon)
  • our lay reviewers
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