November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Nov 1, 2012


purple ribbon by MesserWoland

credit: MesserWoland

Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most challenging diseases physicians face today because it responds poorly to treatment and quickly spreads to surrounding organs. This is why November is so important: to raise awareness around early detection and prevention as well as highlight current research to help find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

Purple with a Purpose on November 16

Purple with a Purpose on November 16

Click the image above for a larger view

On Friday, November 16, 2012 join the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and others to raise awareness by wearing purple! Snap photos of yourself, your office, your family and friends wearing purple and then email them to us at [email protected] to be posted on our Facebook page OR you can upload your photos to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's website.

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month on Facebook

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month on Facebook

Nearly 44,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. Help us spread awareness by visiting our Facebook page where we'll posting patient stories and educational resources throughout November.

Know The Facts

According to the American Cancer Society and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

  • Pancreatic cancer is the only one of the top 24 cancer killers that still has a five-year survival rate in the single digits
  • In 2012, about 37,390 deaths are estimated to occur from pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in men and women in the U.S.
  • The risk for developing pancreatic cancer triples if a person's mother, father or a sibling had the disease
  • The Whipple procedure is named after Allen Whipple, M.D., a Columbia University surgeon who was the first American to perform the operation in 1935

Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach and in front of the spine, produces digestive juices and hormones which help control blood sugar levels. It is crucial to helping the body store and use energy from food after it aids with digestion.

Most cases of pancreatic cancer begin in the cells that produce digestive juices, called exocrine pancreas cells. These cells are located in the head of the pancreas. Other pancreatic tumors begin in the islet or endocrine cells. Early diagnosis and early intervention is the best way to beat Pancreatic Cancer. NewYork–Presbyterian offers the evaluative expertise to identify early and create the best treatment plan for the most successful outcomes. Learn more

Individualized Care at NYP

Our specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer. An interdisciplinary team of gastrointestinal specialists in endoscopy, radiology, and surgery work together as a team to provide each patient with coordinated, advanced, and individualized care. NewYork-Presbyterian offers minimally invasive interventional endoscopic techniques to treat pancreatic cancer and it's symptoms including ERCP with biliary stent placement, radiofrequency ablation of the tumor, celiac plexus neurolysis to relieve pain, dueodenal stent to relieve obstruction and EUS-guided ERCP for complex biliary drainage. Patients may undergo the Whipple procedure (removal of the head of the pancreas, part of the small intestine, gall bladder, part of the stomach, and lymph nodes near the head of the pancreas). NewYork-Presbyterian surgeons perform a large volume of procedures using this complex approach. Patients may also receive chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. We offer our patients all the tools necessary to personalize care for each patient. Learn more

Clinical Trials

Below are listings at each of our medical centers for clinical trials for individuals with pancreatic cancer.

The Pancreas Center at NewYork–Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Center for Advanced Digestive Care at NewYork–Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

A Survivor's Story

Bob Brown was diagnosed with "inoperable" pancreatic cancer. Yet, fortunately, he found his way to NewYork-Presbyterian for a second opinion; Dr. John Chabot, our Chief of the Division of GI/Endocrine Surgery at NewYork–Presbyterian/Columbia, was able to operate; and Mr. Brown's life was saved.


Center for Advanced Digestive Care


The Pancreas Center