The pancreas is a gland shaped rather like a fish. It is found in the abdomens of animals with backbones. The pancreas plays a double role in the body. It produces enzymes needed to digest all kinds of food. Small sections of the pancreas, called the islands (or islets) of Langerhans, produce a hormone that enables the body to use sugar.
   The human pancreas is about six to nine inches long and an inch and one-half wide. It lies behind the stomach and a little below it. The right end of the pancreas is folded forward around a group of blood vessels. This hook-like piece is called the head.
   The digestive juice is collected in a duct that leads from the pancreas to the duodenum.
   INSULIN is the hormone produced' by tissues in the pancreas. Unlike the digestivejuices, it is a ductless (endocrine) secretion and enters the body through the blood vessels. It is called insulin from the Latin word insula, meaning island, because it is secreted by the islands of Langerhans. If they do not make enough of it, the body cannot burn sugar. This condition is called diabetes mellitus.