PANCREATIC cancer is the eleventh most common type of cancer in the UK and the sixth highest cause of cancer death. The disease - which soul legend Aretha Franklin battled for years before her death aged 76 - affects a large gland that is part of the digestive system. What is pancreatic cancer? The pancreas is an elongated gland located behind the stomach and under the liver. It has two main functions: dripping digestive enzymes into the gut to help break down food, and releasing the hormones insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer occurs when malignant - cancerous - cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. Around 9,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK every year - 27 a day. It is more common in older people and rare in people under 40. Almost half of all new cases are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over. Survival rates in England and Wales have hardly improved in 40 years and are among the lowest of all cancers, partly because … [Read more...] about What is pancreatic cancer, what are the symptoms of the disease Aretha Franklin fought and what does the pancreas do?