Pancreatic cancer is the 11th most common cancer globally. In 2018, there were 458,918 new cases and 432,242 deaths worldwide.
There are various ways in which a doctor or a specialist of cancer may classify pancreatic cancer:
Based on the cells that cancer originates from:
Adenocarcinoma: It is the most common type of pancreatic cancer that arises from cells lining the ducts (hollow tubes) of the pancreas.
Cystic tumours: This type of cancer leads to the development of a fluid-filled sac called a cyst.
Acinar cell cancer: This type of cancer develops in the acinar cells, which lie at the ends of the ducts that produce enzymes.
Based on the spread of cancer
Localised pancreatic cancer: The cancer is contained within the pancreas and has not spread anywhere else in the body.
Locally advanced pancreatic cancer: The cancer has spread to the tissues around the pancreas, to the nearby lymph nodes, or nearby blood vessels, but has not spread to other parts of the body.
Metastatic pancreatic cancer: The cancer has spread to another part or parts of the body, also known as metastases.
If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, doctors that treat cancer will run more tests to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. The stage of your cancer is based on the size and spread of the tumour and helps your doctor or specialist of cancer decide which treatments are optimum.
Sources: Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A. Global cancer statistics 2018; European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) ; American Cancer Society