Carcinoma of the pancreas is more common in males as compared to females. It usually affects above 60 years of age. In about 75 per cent cases, the tumour originates in head of the pancreas while in the remaining 25 per cent cases it originates in body or tail of the pancreas.
The pancreatic carcinomas are of two types, i.e. exocrine carcinomas and endocrine carcinomas. About 95 per cent pancreatic carcinomas are of exocrine type. The most common exocrine pancreatic carcinoma is ductal adenocarcinoma that arises from duct cells of the pancreas. Other exocrine pancreatic carcinomas include giant cell carcinoma and acinar cell carcinoma. Endocrine pancreatic carcinomas, also known as islet cell carcinomas, are slow growing tumours.
Risk factors of pancreatic carcinoma include:
Pancreatic carcinoma usually presents with pain in the epigastrium that radiates to back and intensifies after eating or lying supine, especially at night. Other symptoms include diarrhoea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, fever, anaemia, glycosuria, hyperglycaemia and thrombophlebitis. Jaundice may occur in advanced stages of the disease.
Staging of the pancreatic carcinoma is done as follows:
Procedures used in diagnosis and evaluation of the pancreatic carcinoma include blood tests, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC), endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) and biopsy.
This content is for information and educational purposes only and should not be perceived as medical advice. Please consult a certified medical or healthcare professional before making any decision regarding your health using the content above.
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