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Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed when cancer cells are found within the tissue of the pancreas. When pancreatic cancer occurs, the cells that produce the digestive fluids or hormones in the pancreas grow out of control, typically resulting in a tumor.

Pancreatic cancer care in Metro Denver

From the moment you're diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we are by your side.

HealthONE hospitals in the Rocky Mountain Region offer personalized, high-quality diagnostics and treatment for pancreatic cancer. Our oncologists, nurses and specialists are ready to discuss all of your options to create a care plan that is uniquely yours. Together, we will work as a team, supporting you and your family throughout treatment and recovery.

Have cancer questions?

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Unfortunately, there are no early warning signs of pancreatic cancer. Most symptoms do not occur until the disease is at an advanced stage. Some symptoms may include:

  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Light-colored stools
  • Loss of appetite or unusual weight loss
  • Unusual abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice)

Our pancreatic cancer program

We offer access to pancreatic cancer specialists who are trained to accurately diagnose and treat your condition.

Our pancreatic cancer diagnostics

Our team has been known to detect certain cancers, including pancreatic cancer, at earlier stages than the state average. Additionally, our patient outcomes continue to be better than the state average.

We use several different methods to reach a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, including diagnostic imaging tests and minimally invasive exams. These may include:

  • Angiogram
  • Biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Laparoscopy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound

Treatment options for pancreatic cancer

To ensure the most effective outcomes, we offer advanced treatments to provide you with many options for healing. Some of our treatments include surgery, radiation oncology and chemotherapy.

Other innovative treatments we offer include:

  • Arterial embolization
  • Distal pancreatectomy (including minimally invasive options)
  • Irreversible electroporation (minimally invasive)
  • Whipple surgery (also known as pancreatoduodenectomy)

Pancreatic cancer treatment center

Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center is home to the Center for Diseases of the Liver and Pancreas. This program brings together a team of experts dedicated to treating pancreatic cancer and other pancreatic conditions, such as ascites, pancreatitis and portal hypertension.

What causes pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer occurs when the DNA in the cells of your pancreas change, making the cells behave abnormally. This abnormal behavior usually makes the cells in your pancreas grow uncontrollably, resulting in a tumor.

It’s not exactly clear what causes pancreatic cancer. However, there are some factors that may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

These may include:

  • Certain genetic mutations
  • Chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Smoking

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (303) 253-3225.

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