Pancreatic Cancer in the Spotlight

Last week, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced that he has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. New York Times reporter Gina Kolata spoke with experts, including MSK’s Dr. William Jarnagin, to explain the diagnosis.

Most pancreatic tumors are adenocarcinomas, an aggressive cancer with a high risk of recurrence. It is hard to diagnose because the pancreas is located deep inside the body, making biopsies difficult, and the cancer’s symptoms are generally not felt until the cancer is at an advanced stage. In recent years, treatment (surgery when possible, chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation) has improved the median survival time to 54 months.

To learn more about pancreatic cancer, including clinical trials at MSK, visit MSK’s patient information page.