BRCA2 and Pancreatic Cancer: What’s the Connection?

Pancreatic cancer is notorious for being difficult to treat—and it is often not detected until it advances beyond the pancreas. While smoking and obesity are two established risk factors that impact this disease, another risk factor can be mutations in the BRCA2 gene, also associated with breast and ovarian cancer. Research studies have identified a … Continued

Is Nausea a Sign of Cancer?

Nausea and cancer are often related in that nausea can be a side effect of treatment, but can nausea be a symptom of cancer itself? If there is a tumor that lives in the colon, esophagus, stomach, or somewhere else in the bowel, it can cause a bowel obstruction. A bowel obstruction means that something … Continued

Why is Pancreatic Cancer So Difficult to Treat?

Pancreatic cancer is seldom detected early enough for curative treatment to be performed – and even if it were, it would still be very difficult to vanquish. The pancreas, a narrow, six-inch-long gland that makes digestive juices and hormones such as insulin, is tucked away deep inside the body behind the stomach, small intestine, liver, … Continued

Pancreatic Cancer: What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Pancreatic tumors are sometimes discovered during imaging studies — such as an MRI or CT scan — performed to investigate the onset of new symptoms or during evaluation for another condition. They may also be identified during screening for families with a known history of pancreatic cancer. The pancreas produces fluids that help digest (break … Continued

Healing My Body and Spirit After Pancreatic Cancer

By Yvette Colón, OD I was diagnosed three years ago with pancreatic cancer, and the one thing I will never forget is when I asked my doctor when I could return to work as a clinical professor in optometry at a local health center. He looked at me and said, “Cancer is now your full-time … Continued

Attacking A Weak Point in Pancreatic Cancer’s Defense

In the fall of 2015, at the age of 44 – young for a person to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – Doron Broman was stunned to learn he had a large tumor on his pancreas that had metastasized to the liver. Facing only months to live, Broman would find himself in the right place … Continued

Shaped by the Past, Pancreatic Cancer Patient Takes Things Day by Day

  By Yvette Kaplan From her early days growing up in Hungary, Yvette Kaplan has possessed a strong will to survive. Whether it was German occupation during World War II, communism and a daring break for freedom as a teen, or cancer’s devastating impact on her family, she has met each challenge with resilience – … Continued

Can Immunotherapy Help Patients with Pancreatic Cancer?

Patients with pancreatic cancer often ask Dana-Farber’s Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, about immunotherapy, the rising star of cancer treatment that’s making impressive gains against many types of malignancies. Immunotherapy drugs, which mobilize the patient’s immune defenses to recognize and attack tumor cells, have worked against lethal cancers such as melanoma and some lung cancers – … Continued

What Is Whipple Surgery?

Many pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed after the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas, making surgery a risky treatment option. But for those patients whose cancer is localized, surgery may be used to remove the tumor and prevent further spread. When the tumor is confined to the head or neck of the pancreas, the “Whipple” … Continued

Can Pancreatic Cancer Be Inherited?

Most cases of pancreatic cancer develop for unknown reasons, but about 10 percent occur in families that have a strong history of the disease. That doesn’t mean that if you are a member of such a family you will develop pancreatic cancer, but rather that you are at a higher risk for it. “Research has … Continued

Researchers Focusing on Early Detection, Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

The challenge with pancreatic cancer has always been to catch it early. Because of its subtle, variable symptoms, the disease often isn’t diagnosed until an advanced stage, when it is particularly difficult to treat. Researchers are investigating not only how to detect the disease earlier but also how to better understand its causes and develop … Continued

A Teen’s Journey: Developing a Diagnostic Test for Pancreatic Cancer

This post was originally written and published on Vector, Boston Children’s Hospital’s science and clinical innovation blog.  At age 13, Jack Andraka lost a family friend to pancreatic cancer. At age 15, he developed a diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer that early findings suggest is highly accurate. In this session from Boston Children’s Hospital’s Global Pediatric Innovation Summit … Continued