The pancreas is a gland that lies deep in the abdomen behind the stomach, near the intestines, and on top of the spine. It is responsible for producing juices that help digest food and for making hormones such as insulin (regulates blood sugar levels). Pancreatic cancer (cancer of the pancreas) is a serious disease, being the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The January 17, 2007, issue of JAMA includes an article about treatment of pancreatic cancer. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the December 14, 2005, issue of JAMA.