Pancreatic Tumours

Pancreatic Tumours

Pancreatic tumours are abnormal cell growths in the pancreas which can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It is estimated that over 56,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2021.

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, obesity, a family history of the disease, exposure to certain chemicals, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes or chronic pancreatitis. There are no screening tests currently available for pancreatic cancer.

The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer vary depending on the type of tumour and its location in the pancreas. These can include pain in the abdomen or back, weight loss, jaundice, and a change in bowel movements. If these symptoms are present, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Diagnosis of pancreatic cancer typically requires imaging such as a CT scan or MRI, as well as a biopsy. Treatment options depend on the size and stage of the tumour, but can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies.


Although there is no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer, there are some lifestyle choices that can help reduce the risk. These include avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake, and getting regular exercise.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is important for everyone, but especially for those at risk for pancreatic cancer. Foods to incorporate into one’s diet include:

  • Fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Lean proteins such as poultry, fish, eggs, and beans

It is also important to limit processed foods, added sugars, and saturated and trans fats.