FAQ - pancreatic neoplasms
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Difference between pancreatic neoplasm and cystic neoplasm?

Anyone who knows, I would greatly appreciate it.
I would like for those who are in the medical profession to answer this question, or someone with real knowledge. I'm not looking for insensitive answers, simply the facts.
I must add that this is specific to a low density mass in the pancreas, very small in size. No diagnostic tests have been done other than a CT that detected it.

pancreatic neoplasm occurs in the pancreas
cystic neoplasm can occur anywhere in the body.  (+ info)

What is the connection between malignant neoplasms and crabs?

The more common term for malignant neoplasms, cancer, is Latin for crab, and the word "carcinogen," meaning a cancer-causing agent, comes from the Greek word for crab, "karkinos." What is the connection between these two seemingly unrelated things?

Cancer, both the disease and the astronomical constellation, derive from the Latin cancer or cancrum, meaning crab. The astrological sign, of course, is said to resemble a crab and the disease was so named by the ancient Greek physician Galen (129-200 A.D.) who noted the similarity between a certain type of tumor with a crab as well—the swollen veins around the tumor resembling the legs of a crab.

Old English adopted cancer directly from Latin and used it for a variety of spreading sores and ulcers. This early sense survives in the modern word canker. From c.1000 in a manuscript called Læce Boc (Leech Book), collected in Oswald Cockayne’s Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England, Vol. II, 1865:

Gemeng wið þam dustum, clæm on ðone cancer.
(Mix with the dust, smear on the cancer.)

And from Wyclif’s 2 Timothy, 1382:

The word of hem crepith as a kankir

The word was being applied specifically to the disease we today call cancer by the beginning of the 17th century. From Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Historie of the World:

Cancer is a swelling or sore comming of melancholy bloud, about which the veins appeare of a blacke or swert colour, spread in manner of a Creifish clees.

The astronomical sense of cancer is from the Latin name for the constellation of the crab. The name was known to the Anglo-Saxons, but only as a Latin name and was not assimilated into English until the Middle English period. It appears in Ælfric’s De Temporibus Anni, written c.993, in a list of the constellations of the Zodiac:

Feorða • Cancer • þæt is Crabba
(Fourth, Cancer, that is the crab.)

The Anglicized name appears c.1391 in Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe:

In this heved of cancer is the grettist declinacioun northward of the sonne...this signe of cancre is clepid the tropik of Somer.
(At this first point (head) of cancer is the greatest declination northward of the sun…this sign of cancer is named the tropic of summer.)

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition)  (+ info)

What make pancreatic cancer so different from other cancers?

From everything that I have read about pancreatic cancer it is uncurable. Breast cancer, leukemia, and other kinds of cancer can be cured/brought into remission and I was wondering what is so different about pancreatic cancer that does not allow this type of cancer to be cured/go into remission?

Pancreatic cancer can be treated for cure under very specific conditions. It spreads by local invasion and via lymphatic channels. If it is caught early prior to invasion in the local vasculature, it can be treated for cure via several procedures - Whipple (pancreaticoduodenectomy), Total Pancreatectomy, or Distal Pancreatectomy. A major issue is catching it early. The symptoms of this disease early on are usually no symptoms, vague abdominal pain, mild discomfort. It is hard to detect. There is also no good screening that is cost effective. The reason for this is the cancer is not that common, and the tests available are not that cheap. This makes for a very inefficient screening method. The ones out there currently that can detect pancreatic cancer include CT scan of the abdomen and Endoscopic Ultrasound. Both of these tests have their own drawbacks. CT scan of the abdomen involves radiation that may set you up for a cancer. Endoscopic ultrasound requires sedation, a specialist (gastroenterologist), and has risks of perforation. Also the tests need to have a high degree of sensitivity (meaning that there is a high number of people who have the disease also test positive). Endoscopic ultrasound is being used more for symptomatic pancreatic cancer, but I do not know of studies used for screening the general population.

Another issue is it's proximity to other organs. It is near the duodenum, stomach, inferior vena cava, aorta. It is also a part of the biliary system and liver. It can spread to many important organs easily.

There is some increased hope on the horizon as new chemotherapy drugs are being developed. Dr. Vickers at the University of Minnesota is doing clinical trials on a new medication that will hopefully help with treating the disease.  (+ info)

What is pancreatic cancer and how do you get it?

I now know of 5 people who have had Pancreatic cancer and died within 3 months. I don't understand why it isn't caught earlier so people can live. How do you get it? How do you get diagnosed early so doctors can do something about it. We have so much techology out there to fight cancer. Why are people dying of this. Why does this disease kill people so quickly?

Good question. Here is some brief info on it and why it's so hard to diagnose and what the major causes are: http://health.yahoo.com/ency/healthwise/ncicdr0000062957

Here is the site for pancreatic cancer:
http://www.pancreatica.org/  (+ info)

How Long Can Someone Expect To Live With Pancreatic Cancer?

I'm planning on writing a book about a girl whose father is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I've researched a lot, but the one thing I'm having difficulty with is finding out how long the cancer will take to kill him. I realize that this varies a lot based on health and when it's first detected, but can anyone give me a generalization for how long it could be?

Also, what types of diseases would the doctors test him for before they realize what it really is?

Thank you so much!

This isn’t difficult to answer at all and it doesn’t vary all that much. Less than 20% survive the first year. 3% survive 5 years. Nonresectable or stage 4 disease has a median survival of 2-6 months.

Doctors don’t really check for diseases. Tests are run based on history, physical exam and symptoms. What these tests tells them either diagnosis the problem or determines what other tests need to be done. Tests would start with a CT and blood tests, followed by an ERCP or an EUS. MRI is not often used for diagnosis.

I have never seen this disease diagnosed early unless it is diagnosed by accident and those are the only long term survivors I have seen. Patrick Swayze lived just short of 2 years. He was treated with Cyber Knife which is not widely available.  (+ info)

What are some cancer diet-friendly meals for my neighbor with pancreatic cancer?

My neighbor has pancreatic cancer. Both she and her husband are both elderly and my husband and I want to help them with their upcoming family dinner to celebrate their son's engagement. I understand a cancer patient's palate can be extra-sensitive and she has talked to me about the chemo-induced nausea she deals with daily so I want to make sure it best meets her needs. From those with experience, what would you recommend we make for them?

We're looking for entree and dessert ideas.
Thank you!

For Entree:
Fresh green salad using balsamic vinegar/olive oil

For dessert:
Make smoothies. Mix together organic blueberries with apple, grape, cranberry, or guava juice—anything but orange juice. Citrus fruits can contribute to or exacerbate mouth sores, and you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid those. Throw in a banana and some plain yogurt.  (+ info)

How long can a person with Pancreatic Cancer be expected to live ?

How long can a person with pancreatic cancer be expected to live without surgery and only with Chemo therapy ?

I dont know. I think every case is different!
good luck!  (+ info)

How can a CT scan result show that there is no pancreatic head mass while in a ultrasound there is?

An ultrasound was done and it revealed a pancreatic head mass. A CT scan and ultrasound was later performed by a different doctor and he found nothing. Another ultrasound was done by the first doctor and she commits to her finding that there is indeed a pancreatic head mass. I am SUPER confused.

I agree with Denised; these images need to be compared. It is possible to see something on one modality that doesn't show well on the other. Sometimes a third test (like MRI) is needed; frustrating, yes. You can take both sets to one of the doctors, or even both doctors, or go to an independent radiologist for a third opinion.

Blessings  (+ info)

What is the correct and incorrect mechanism of pancreatic cancer?

What does this actually mean? I tried to research the
"mechanisms" of pancreatic cancer, but I couldn't find anything. Please help :)

Is this a multiple choice question? I don’t really know what they want, but mechanism means the process to achieve an end. So I read it as meaning the correct and incorrect treatment, but treating cancer is not that cut and dried.  (+ info)

Can nexium create a false positive for Pancreatic cancer?

A relative was recently told based on blood tests that she may have pancreatic cancer. She has consistently taken nexium and other drugs for acid reflux, migraines, and arthritis. Can these drugs or any for that matter cause a blood test to come back positive for pancreatic cancer?

Blood tests for presence of cancer are screening tests and are not 100% diagnostic of the presence of cancer. Biopsises and other tests need to be done to ensure a positive diagnosis.

That said, blood tests look for specific proteins made by specific kinds of cancer cells. Medications are unlikely to give a false positive on this type of test. That does not mean that the blood test is 100% reliable however. It does mean that more diagnostic tests are needed.  (+ info)

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