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Pancreatic Cancer

Jessica Taff, MD -  - Oncologist

Coastal Hematology & Oncology Center

Jessica Taff, MD

Oncologist & Hematologist located in Toms River, NJ & Forked River, NJ

Pancreatic cancer has the fourth-highest rate of death of any form of cancer, for both women and men. For those living in or around Toms River and Forked River, New Jersey, the care of Jessica Taff, MD, of Coastal Hematology & Oncology Center can make it easier to navigate a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Begin the process today by booking an appointment online or over the phone.

Pancreatic Cancer Q & A

What is pancreatic cancer?

Your pancreas is a long, flat gland located in your abdomen near the base of your stomach. It plays a vital role in your digestive function and also helps regulate blood sugar levels. 

Because your pancreas sits deep in your abdominal cavity between your stomach and spine, detecting abnormalities is challenging. Many cases of pancreatic cancer are not diagnosed until the disease has reached a stage where it interferes with the function of your pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, or liver. 

Like all forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in your pancreas begin to multiply in an uncontrolled fashion. This causes problems with pancreatic function and can also impact nearby organs and tissues. 

Am I at risk of developing pancreatic cancer?

Anyone can develop pancreatic cancer at any stage in life, but the condition is most common in men over the age of 45. Some additional risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes, especially a long history of the disease
  • Smoking
  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas
  • Inherited conditions like pancreatitis

Men and women with several risk factors should strive to make lifestyle changes to lower their risk of pancreatic cancer and other types of cancer. Taking steps like quitting smoking, achieving a healthy weight, and managing diabetes can go a long way toward improving your overall health and wellness. 

What diagnostic tools detect signs of pancreatic cancer?

Dr. Taff uses a wide range of advanced diagnostic tools to screen for signs of pancreatic cancer. That process begins with a discussion about your overall health and your personal and family health history. Be sure to mention any changes you’ve experienced in your digestive function, appetite, weight, or back and abdominal pain. 

Additional diagnostic options include:

  • CT scan
  • Laparoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure to view internal organs
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • MRI
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC)
  • Biopsy

Dr. Taff discusses these and other diagnostic options with you in detail. You will receive everything you need to make an informed decision about your care, and you will have the support and guidance of the entire Coastal Hematology & Oncology Center team as you move through the diagnostic and treatment process.  

Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Taff is as simple as a phone call or a visit to the online booking page. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns about symptoms or treatment for pancreatic cancer. 

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