Definition and causes

The reason for the development of cancer of the pancreas is unknown. However, there are a number of factors, which are predisposed to the disease. The most important and best documented are smoking. There was discovered around. 500 new cases of bugspytkirtelkræft in Denmark a year. About 90% of cancer from the ducts of the pancreas. About 70% of cancer sits in caput (head) of the pancreas.

Symptoms of cancer of the pancreas

The symptoms of cancer of the pancreas is relatively non-specific and is often only when the disease was well advanced, making the prognosis poor. Most patients have relatively short duration of symptoms (less than 4 months). They include the general cancer symptoms, and some slightly more specific:

  • Weight loss.

  • Intense pain in the abdomen, usually on the left side with radiation to the left side of his back.

  • Jaundice.

The more non-specific symptoms are:

  • Fatigue.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Vomiting.

  • Madlede.

  • Constipation.

Some individual debut with diabetes and others with acute pancreatitis (pancreatit). The symptoms depend partly on how the cancer of the pancreas exist.

Precautions and diagnosis of cancer of the pancreas

The suspicion is raised especially by the first three symptoms, therefore væggtab, jaundice and abdominal pain. Determination consists primarily of image diagnosis in the form of ultrasound, CT and MRI scans. In addition, some blood samples, and when suspicions are raised, especially by jaundice, can be made a special study. These are either a MRCP (magnetic resonance kolangiopancreaticografi) scan, there is an MRI scan with a particular type of contrast that visualizes bile aisle, or an ERCP (

When, ultrasound, CT or MRI detected a tumor in the pancreas, take a biopsy and will confirm or afkraftet suspicion of cancer.

Treatment of cancer of the pancreas

Unfortunately, the relatively few cases of cancer of the pancreas, which can be cured. Only about. fifth offered surgery, which operates away part or all of the pancreas, gall bladder and small-bowel. Also removes some of the stomach. This operation is calledWhipple operation, And is a big operation, which only takes place in relatively few hospitals.
Some patients are offered palliative chemotherapy, but its impact is limited.

Select and complications

The survival rates for patients with cancer of the pancreas is poor. The prognosis depends on the tumor location and whether it can be operated. Even with surgery survival rates are low, and the other treatment is to give the patient's quality of life as good as possible in the time remaining for example through the good pain management.

Complication of the cancer of the pancreas include jaundice with subsequent inflammation of the deep bile times. This is because closing the bile ducts, and can be alleviated with the construction of a stent by ERCP, as indicated above.

Some patients have impaired gastric emptying why they sometimes can be offered an operation, which produced a "diversionary" from the stomach to a later piece of the intestine, thereby increasing the evacuation.
Some patients have abscesses in the pancreas or pancreatitis.




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