Condition that I Treat

Pancreas Tumors

Pancreas Tumors: What You Need to Know

The pancreas is an abdominal organ that is located behind the lower section of the stomach. It helps by aiding digestion and providing hormones that help manage blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer starts in the tissue of the pancreas and often spreads to nearby organs quickly. It is frequently detected in later stages.

What Are the Symptoms of Pancreas Tumors?

Many symptoms are not apparent until the disease has already advanced. However, symptoms might include:

  • Upper abdomen pain radiating to the back
  • Unintended weight loss or loss of appetite
  • New onset diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Blood clots
  • Yellowing eyes or skin

If you find that you are losing weight unexpectedly and have fatigue, jaundice, or abdominal pain, consider speaking with your gastroenterologist.

Can I Prevent Pancreatic Tumors?

There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer:

  • Choosing a healthy diet – Eating vegetables and fruit along with whole grains may reduce your chance of cancer.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight – obesity has been linked to pancreas cancer. Keeping a normal body weight for your height may be protective.
  • Quit smoking – If you are having difficulty quitting smoking, talk to your doctor about medications or nicotine replacement therapies.

How is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed?

If your doctor believes you may have pancreatic tumors, they will have you initially undergo radiographic testing. This might include imaging tests like CT or MRI scans.  To actually make the formal diagnosis of pancreas cancer – a biopsy is needed of the tumor.  The gold standard for obtaining a pancreas biopsy is via an endoscopic procedure known at EUS  or endoscopic ultrasound.

What Stages Are There with Pancreatic Cancer?

  • Stage I – Cancer is solely in the pancreas and will be removed surgically.
  • Stage II – Cancer is spreading to some nearby organs and tissues, as well as possibly the lymph nodes.
  • Stage III – Cancer is spreading to the blood vessels and perhaps to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV – Cancer has spread to areas farther away such as the lungs, liver, and lining of abdominal organs. Surgery is not an option.

What Treatment is Available?

The treatment that is possible for pancreatic tumors will depend upon the location and stage of cancer, along with your level of health. Most people’s number one goal is to get rid of all cancer. If that is not possible, preventing cancer from growing and improving your quality of life may be the best treatment.

Treatments can include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and combinations of the three. If the cancer is at an advanced stage and these procedures may not help, the doctor will work to provide relief for your symptoms and keep you as comfortable as possible.

Endoscopy is used not only to diagnose cancer for patients, but also improve their quality of life from the symptoms of cancer.  Cancer related symptoms such as pain, nausea, intestinal blockage, and bile duct blockage may all be treated by endoscopy.  Dr. Kedia works at a center of excellence for the management of pancreas cancer and he specializes in endoscopic procedures to palliate cancer patients.

Treating Pancreas Tumors in Dallas, Tx

Are you interested in learning more about pancreas cancer or other GI disorders? We invite you to contact us to learn more. Dr. Prashant Kedia is a therapeutic endoscopist and gastroenterologist serving patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. Call today to schedule an appointment at (214) 941-6891.

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