Symptoms And Treatment Of Pancreatic Cancer

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Intraductal papillary mucinous duct neoplasms of the pancreas (IPMN-p) are one of the subtypes of cystic neoplasms of the pancreas. They are neoplasms that arise in the pancreatic ducts and can be visualized as they are usually greater than 0.5 inch in length. They are comprised of tall mucin-producing columnar cells, that have the capability of transforming into pancreatic cancer if left untreated. Their ability to develop into pancreatic cancer is one of the main reasons behind their significance. IPMNs commonly exhibit cell atypia, papillary propagation, and cyst production. Their main feature is the ability to produce copious amounts of fluid.

In general pancreatic cysts are not an uncommon finding on abdominal computerized tomography (CT) scans. A study done at University College Dublin in 2008, in which, 2,832 abdominal CT scans were evaluated for presence of pancreatic cysts, showed that 2.6% of people have pancreatic cysts. These patients had no history of pancreatic disease, and had no pancreatic symptoms at the time of the scan i.e the abdominal scan was done for other reasons. Pancreatic cysts increased with age, with zero cysts found in patients below 40 and up to 8.7% of scans of those above 80 years of age had cysts present. (12)

IPMNs of the pancreas can occur in either the main pancreatic duct or in one of its branches. The smaller the branch size in which the neoplasm arose, the higher the likelihood of a less aggressive neoplasm. Tumors
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