Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a gland within the digestive system. It is located deep in the abdomen, behind the stomach and the large and small intestines. Its major function is to secret digestive enzymes to digest food, and serve as an important pathway for bile to travel from the liver to the small intestine. Due to the location of the pancreas is deep in the abdomen which can hide a tumour, pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells divide and grow uncontrollably in the pancreas forming a tumour. We know that the following groups are more susceptible to pancreatic cancer:

  • Aged over 65

  • Being males

  • Smokers have 2 to 3 times the risk of non-smokers

  • Diabetes

  • Overweight

  • Prolonged intake of fatty food and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption

  • Prolonged contact with hazardous chemicals, such as pesticides, petroleum or dyes



  • Prolonged pain in the upper abdomen which may extend to the back. Pain is unrelated to digestion
  • Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting

  • Jaundice and itchy skin

  • Clay coloured and greasy stools

  • Drastic weight lost over a short period of time


Reduce your risks

  • Consume more fruit and vegetables

  • Stop smoking

For more cancer-related information and support, please visit the Hong Kong Cancer Fund website or contact Hong Kong Cancer Fund free enquiry hotline: (852) 3656 0800


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Source: Hong Kong Cancer Fund


The information on this page is for reference only. It is not intended to constitute a recommendation, and it is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. You should not act on any information on this page without seeking specific professional advice.