What is pancreatic cancer?

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

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include pain in the tummy or back, yellowing of the skin or whites of your eyes (jaundice), changed to your poo (stool) and weight loss. Find out about others symptoms.

Risks and causes of pancreatic cancer

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

Getting diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Most people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after they become unwell and go to A&E. Others start by seeing their GP. Find out what to expect when you see a GP and tests you might have.


Stages, types and grades of pancreatic cancer

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. Knowing this information helps doctors decide about treatment.

Treatment for pancreatic cancer

Your treatment depends on the position of the cancer in the pancreas, how big it is, the type of pancreatic cancer it is, whether it has spread, if they can remove it with surgery and your general health. 

Living with pancreatic cancer

Get practical and emotional support to help you cope with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and life during and after treatment.

Research and clinical trials for pancreatic cancer

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

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.

Last reviewed: 
24 Jan 2023
Next review due: 
24 Jan 2026

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