The pancreas and duodenum are structures within the digestive system of the human body. They are connected to each other and function together to aid digestion.
The pancreas gland is located behind the stomach and connects to the duodenum by two pancreatic ducts. The pancreas is approximately five inches long by one inch wide.
The pancreas mostly functions as an endocrine gland. This gland produces digestive enzymes known as pancreatic juices. There are also a small number of cells within the pancreas known as islets of Langerhans. The islets of Langerhans secrete the hormones insulin, glucagon and somatostatin.
The duodenum is actually the shortest portion of the small intestine. Forming a C-shaped curve, this structure has ducts entering from the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.
The duodenum receives partially digested food from the stomach and continues the digestive process. Intestinal juices from the small intestine and secretions from the pancreas, liver and gallbladder aid in this process.
Pancreas and Duodenum Disease
Pancreatic cancer is a disease that can affect both the pancreas and duodenum. Pancreatic cancer sometimes grows into or presses on the duodenum.
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