Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pancreatic Cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose at early stages.
  •  Patients may have only non -specific symptoms in the beginning. By the time it is diagnosed often, the cancer has spread to distant organs.
  • Although the incidence of pancreatic cancer is less compared to other cancers, the mortality (number of deaths) from pancreatic cancer is very high
  • Surgery is the primary mode of treatment for pancreatic cancer
  • Neo adjuvant therapy-using chemotherapy or radiation therapy prior to surgery may be useful as it may be better tolerated by some patients and also because the size of the tumor reduces with these therapies and resection of the tumor becomes easy
  • Red meat consumption increases the risk of pancreatic cancer
  • Laboratory findings will be non-specific Serum amylase and lipase may be high. In obstructive jaundice, bilirubin levels will be very high. Tumor markers like CA 19 and CEA may be high
  • Alcohlic patients may develop chronic pancreatitis and it may be difficult to differentiate from pancreatic carcinoma