Benign Pancreatic Cancer

Benign Pancreatic Cancer

What is the definition for benign pancreatic cancer?

Just as cancer can affect nearly any part of the body, so too can it affect any part of the pancreas. However, in about 95 percent of all benign pancreatic cancer cases, patients suffer from adenocarcinomas, tumors that grow in the enzyme-producing duct cells of the pancreas.

Because this type of tumor affects the pancreas’ secretion ducts, adenocarcinoma, as well as benign pancreatic cancer itself, is also referred to as benign exocrine cancer (Exocrine describes any gland that uses secretion ducts to dispel discharge).

Uncommonly, tumors develop in other areas of the pancreas, such as the islet cells, pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Depending on which islet cells tumors develop, the pancreas will start overproducing either glucagons (hormones that metabolize carbohydrates) or insulin (hormones that metabolize sugar). Another uncommon type of benign pancreatic cancer occurs when benign cells arise in the ampulla of Vater, the area in which the bile and pancreatic ducts meet the small intestine. Because the bile duct is directly affected in this type of benign pancreatic cancer, symptoms (such as jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and eyes) typically arise immediately.

Types of Benign Pancreatic Cancer

What is the type of benign pancreatic cancer?

Less common forms of benign pancreatic cancer include the following:

  • Acinar Carcinoma: A rare and highly aggressive form of adenocarcinoma that begins in the acinar cells. These cells produce digestive enzymes and a benign tumor here will often cause excessive production of digestive enzymes. Many patients will have metastases to the liver at the time of diagnosis.
  • Adenosquamous Carcinoma: A rare variation that is highly invasive and despite aggressive treatment almost uniformly has an extremely poor prognosis, few survive longer than one year following diagnosis.
  • Mucinous Cystadenocarcinoma: May develop from previously benign cystic growths and are characterized by fluid-filled sacs within the growth. They occur most often in women.
  • Pancreatoblastoma: A rare disease that affects children exclusively. Because this slow growing benign tumor is almost always surgically removable (“resectable”) and is responsive to both radiation and chemotherapy it has a comparatively high survival rate.
  • Mucous Ductal Ectasia: A slow growing benign tumor that begins in the lining of the pancreatic ducts, produces excessive amounts of mucus, and often results in chronic pancreatitis. Men over the age of sixty are in the highest risk group, and smoking increases the risk further.
  • Giant Cell Tumors: A rare form of adenocarcinoma, giant cell tumors are characterized by larger, “giant” cells. The tumor itself is less aggressive than other adenocarcinomas.
  • Perivascular Epitheliod Cell Tumors (PEComas): Also called clear cell or oncocytic carcinoma, PEComas are the most rare form of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and their benign potential is uncertain.
Symptoms and Signs of Benign Pancreatic Cancer

What is the symptoms and signs of benign pancreatic cancer?

Initially, benign pancreatic cancer tends to be silent and painless as it grows. By the time it’s large enough to cause symptoms, benign pancreatic cancer has generally grown outside the pancreas. At this point, symptoms depend on the cancer’s location within the pancreas:

Benign pancreatic cancer in the head of the pancreas tends to cause symptoms such as:

  • weight loss
  • jaundice (yellow skin)
  • dark urine
  • light stool color
  • itching
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • back pain
  • enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.

Benign pancreatic cancer in the body or tail of the pancreas usually causes belly and/or back pain and weight loss. In general, symptoms appear earlier from benign cancers in the head of the pancreas, compared to those in the body and tail.

Benign Pancreatic Cancer and Its Cause

What is the cause for benign pancreatic cancer?

This refers to the growth of a benign cancer(s) in the tissues of the pancreas. The exact cause is still unknown, although medical research has shown cigarette smoking to be a major risk factor: Smokers are two to three times more likely to be affected compared to non-smokers.

Those who belong to the following categories are also at a higher risk:

Has a family history of the disease (two or more relatives)

  • Over the age of 50
  • Has long-standing diabetes
  • Suffers from chronic pancreatitis.


Benign Pancreatic Cancer diagnosis

What is the diagnosis for benign pancreatic cancer?

Carefully feeling the abdomen, the doctor can detect by feel swelling in the pancreas. In the early stage diagnosis is usually necessary to conduct a study using barium meals that indicates whether the symptoms can occur for other reasons, for example due to a stomach ulcer.

Barium covers the stomach and intestines, and their shape can be clearly seen on the screen of X-ray machine, as well as the narrowing of these bodies as a result of pressure on them, the tumor formed in the pancreas.

If the physical examination or study with barium meals do not allow to exclude cancer of the pancreas, performed an ultrasound scan of the abdomen, followed by ERCP and CT scan later. These studies provide a picture of the pancreas, which can be seen any education, as well as the local lymph glands and liver, and the doctor can determine whether there has been the spread of benign cancer cells in the body. During a CT scan can take a small sample of cells (biopsy) for histological examination. For the respective area of ​​his pain is treated with the anesthetic, after which the physician can introduce the needle into any suspicious masses, being guided by the image on the CT scans.

Sometimes, even after all of these studies to put a definitive diagnosis was not possible. In such cases, make the operation known as a laparotomy, which is done under general anesthesia and involves removing a small piece of pancreatic tissue. This operation is resorted to only when there is a question of surgery, as in this case, the fabric can be investigated immediately, and when the diagnosis is confirmed the surgeon can proceed immediately to further operative procedures.

Metastatic benign pancreatic cancer is the stage when the benign cancer cells have spread to other organs in the body. This can spread via the lymphatic system to the lymph nodes, or via the bloodstream to the liver, lungs or bone.

Benign Pancreatic Cancer treatment

What the treatment for benign pancreatic cancer?

At this time, benign pancreatic cancer can be cured only when it is found at an early stage (before it has spread) and only if the patient is healthy enough to have an operation. However, benign pancreatic cancer treatments other than surgery may be able to control the disease and help patients live longer and feel better. When a cure or control of the disease is not possible, some patients and their doctors choose palliative therapy. Palliative therapy aims to improve the quality of a person’s life by controlling pain and other problems caused by the disease.

People with pancreatic cancer are often treated by a team of specialists, which may include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and endocrinologists. The choice of treatment depends on the types of cancer, the location and size of the tumor, the extent (stage) of the disease, the person’s age and general health, and other factors. Benign cancer that begins in the pancreatic ducts may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Doctors sometimes use combinations of these benign pancreatic cancer treatments. Researchers are also studying biological therapy to see whether it can help when benign pancreatic cancer has spread to other parts of the body or has recurred. Islet benign cell cancer is usually treated with surgery or chemotherapy. Doctors may decide to use one method or a combination of benign pancreatic cancer treatment methods.

Some people take part in a clinical trial (research study) using new treatment methods. Such studies are designed to improve benign pancreatic cancer treatment.

Surgery for benign pancreatic cancer may be done to remove all or part of the pancreas and other nearby tissue. The type of surgery depends on the type of benign pancreatic cancer, the location of the tumor in the pancreas, the person’s symptoms, whether the benign cancer involves other organs, and whether the benign pancreatic cancer can be completely removed. In the Whipple procedure, the surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, the duodenum, part of the stomach, and other nearby tissue. A total pancreatectomy is surgery to remove the entire pancreas as well as the duodenum, common bile duct, gallbladder, spleen, and nearby lymph nodes.

Benign Pancreatic Cancer treatment by Malaysia Chinese Master’s methods

What about treatment with Chinese herbal medicine?

The traditional Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture techniques can only reduce the size of the cancer cells and prolong the life of a cancer patient. According to the research of Malaysia Chinese Master, the herbal medicines used are free from any harmful side effects to patients. Thus, if a patient in a manner that herbal medication and follow the advice of the Chinese Master, may the cancer disease will be reduced.


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July 5, 2012Permalink