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Know the Pancreas
Structure and Location
Functional Role of Pancreas
Pancreatic Cancer
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Know the Pancreas

Structure and Location1

  • The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum).
  • The pancreas secretes powerful digestive enzymes that enter the small intestine through a duct called the main pancreatic duct. These enzymes help digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
  • The pancreas releases the hormones - insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones play an important role in maintaining the glucose level in the blood.
  • The pancreas is a salmon pink color gland measuring about 12- 15 cm in length.
  • The gland is made up of several small units called lobules.
  • Pancreas is divided into four parts- head, neck, body and tail.
  • It is located deep in the abdomen, sandwiched between the stomach and the spine and partially behind the stomach. The head of the pancreas is nestled in the curve of the duodenum (first part of small intestine).
  • There are large blood vessels which run through the pancreas and carry blood to and from the intestines. The bile duct carries bile and joins the main pancreatic duct to enter the duodenum.