Racing the Clock: Treating Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer affects an estimated 38,000 people each year in the United States. The best results with treatment are achieved when surgery is used for removal of the tumor. Unfortunately, only about 20 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will be a candidate for surgical removal of their tumor at the time of diagnosis.

At Missouri Baptist Medical Center, our Hepatobiliary (HPB) surgeons can diagnose and conditions of the pancreas including tumors, cysts and inflammation- increasing your treatment options.

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are slow growing tumors of the pancreas that can be either benign or cancerous. Our surgeons can remove such tumors when they are at risk for becoming cancerous or when they cause symptoms such as diarrhea, flushing, light headedness, ulcers, skin rash, low blood sugar, pain, or weight loss.

Pancreatic cysts are fluid collections within the pancreas. These can be benign or they can be pre-cancerous. These cysts are often removed when they become symptomatic. Common symptoms include pain, inability to eat or weight loss, or when they have a risk of becoming cancerous. Our surgeons can help determine which type of cyst a patient has and whether or not he or she may benefit from having it removed.

Pancreatitis refers to inflammation of the pancreas. This can be sudden, such as acute pancreatitis, or chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can lead to blockage of the duct draining the pancreas resulting in diarrhea and weight loss. Other complications may include a build-up of fluid around the pancreas and chronic pain. In cases of complicated pancreatitis, surgery may be helpful to treat symptoms.

For a physician referral to a gastrointestinal or other specialist, please call 314-996-LIFE (314-996-5433) or 800-392-0936.

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