The pancreas is located on the right side of the body, just below the rib cage. The pancreas sits deep inside the abdomen, located just behind the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas is not palpable through the body.
The pancreas, a small C-shaped gland, plays a key role in food digestion, as it makes certain enzymes that help breakdown food. It also makes hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, that regulate blood sugar. Diseases of the pancreas include cancer, diabetes and pancreatitis. The location of the pancreas makes detection of diseases such as cancer particularly difficult until problems arise with digestion.