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Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is relatively common and is usually derived from the glandular epithelial cells of the pancreas (adenocarcinoma) Rarely it may derive from other pancreatic tissues including the lymph glands (lymphoma). Pancreatic cancers present differently depending on where I the pancreas they begin. Cancers in the tail of the pancreas may present with diabetes or abdominal pain, whereas those with proximity to the bile duct commonly present with painless jaundice.  Only the minority of pancreatic present as surgically operable tumours. Usually with any gastro-intestinal cancer further imaing often with CT scanning of the chest abdomen and throax is considered. Decisions regarding treatment are usually based on a combination of the location, extent and symptoms related to the tumour and the general fitness and co-morbidities of the patient. It may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stenting of the tumour or supportive care alone. Such decisions are made in the UK following multi-disciplinary team discussion. The MDT usually consists of a team of surgeons, radiologists, cancer specialists, dietitians, nurses and gastroenterologists amongst others..

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