Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer, the fourth-most common cause of cancer death, rarely causes symptoms and is usually discovered only after it spreads to other parts of the body. The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute’s team of specialists is here to help.

Our expertise and membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance guides us as we provide support and advanced treatment for anyone with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. 


Connect with a Nurse Navigator

Call 855.255.6181 or request a callback for support, advice, or a second opinion.

Meet Our Team


Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Early cases of pancreatic cancer, which is twice as common in men, cause no symptoms.

But as the disease advances, it can cause:

  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea/loose stools
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Diabetes
  • Pain from the middle of the abdomen to the back

Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer

If your doctor suspects you have pancreatic cancer, you may be referred for:

  • Imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs.
  • Biopsy. We collect a tissue sample from an organ or other part of your body by cutting or scraping a small piece of the tissue or using a needle and syringe to remove a sample. A pathologist then examines the sample under a microscope for abnormalities, such as cancer.

Treating Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is treated with surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy to help relieve symptoms and extend survival. Due to the rapid progression of the disease, only about 20 percent of patients are candidates for surgery.

But the Cancer Institute offers the latest and most effective surgical procedures for prostate cancer, including:

  • Whipple Surgery
  • Robotic Resections. Using a keyhole approach through several small incisions, surgeons remove portions of the pancreas. The technique yields minimal blood loss and complications, with patients recovering quickly. We can use the keyhole approach on older patients and those with comorbidities, who were once considered less than ideal surgical candidates.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute