Pancreatic Cancer

The University of Michigan's Pancreatic Cancer Center offers hope, innovation and support to those with pancreatic cancer -- as well as other rare cancers such as ampullary cancer

Pancreatic cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells of the pancreatic duct, the tube that drains the juices made by the pancreas to aid digestion in the small intestine. The pancreas also makes hormones, such as insulin and glucagon. The hormones go directly into the bloodstream to help the body use and store the energy it gets from food. The pancreas is located behind the stomach.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2014 in the United States:

  • Approximately 46,420 people (23,530 men and 22,890 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
  • Approximately 39,590 people (20,170 men and 19,420 women) will die of pancreatic cancer
  • At the University of Michigan Pancreatic Cancer Center, we are striving to find new treatments and to develop preventative strategies to reverse these statistics, and to provide hope to families struggling with this difficult disease.

Multidisciplinary Pancreatic Cancer Center

Our pancreatic cancer specialists follow a team approach to care. Patients have their diagnosis discussed by pancreatic oncologists, surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists. By having everyone involved, a personalized treatment plan is developed. In most cases, this discussion happens the same day as the appointment.

In recognition of this team approach, the University of Michigan Health System has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers as part of a national program by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. That means we offer a comprehensive inpatient cancer care program, delivered by a team with distinguished expertise in treating complex and rare subtypes of cancer, which includes pancreatic cancer.

We provide the following services for pancreatic cancer:

  • Diagnostic testing completed quickly, with same day procedures available
  • Access to clinical trials offering investigational therapies for pancreatic cancer
  • Specialized CT scan and MRI imaging for diagnosis and staging
  • Specialized endoscopic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures
  • Combined treatment approaches for localized pancreatic cancer
  • Surgeons with extensive operative experience in the removal of part or all of pancreatic tumors - through traditional open surgery techniques and robotically
  • Rapid reports to your primary care physician
  • Access to genetic counseling by experts who are part of the U-M Pancreatic Cancer Team.
Rose Ireland-Black takes overcoming her fears head on, whether it's being afraid of flying or pancreatic cancer.

Request an appointment/referral

To request a first time appointment, please call the Patient Care Center at 800-865-1125 (Monday-Friday, 8am-5:30pm EST). If you would like to refer a patient, please contact our M-Line service: 800-962-3555. For more information, visit our Appointments web page.

Pancreatic Cancer Research

Diane Simeone, M.D., Director of the Pancreatic Cancer Center, explains how research benefits cancer patients.

Continue reading about pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment:


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