You're browsing as an anonymous user. Join the community today to view notes at your university, edit pages, and share knowledge!

Pancreatic Cancer

From Mediwikis


Majority are over 60 years old and male. Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.


It is associated with:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol excess
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pancreatis

Clinical Features

  • Painless jaundice (but ~80% are painful[1])
  • Pain can come on later in the disease progression as the cancer grows
  • Weight loss
  • Urticaria & Scratch marks
  • Courvoisier's sign- Palpable gall bladder
  • Rare- Thromboembolism, polyarthritis, skin nodules


  • Abdominal Ultrasound scan or CT for mass sizing & location
  • Laparoscopy
  • ERCP- palliative treatment
  • CA19-9 High sensitivity


  • Five year survival is 10-15%
  • MDT meeting to assess whether surgery is suitable (20% of cases)
  • ERCP to treat obstructive jaundice


Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

Gastrin-secreting tumour of the pancreas leads to GI ulceration

Clinical Features

  • Diarrhoea + Steatorrhoea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Pain between meals
  • Weight loss
  • Anorexia

Clinical Features

  • Secretin Stimulation Test
  • Fasting Gastrin levels
  • GI pH monitoring


  • PPIs + H2 antagonists
  • Octreotide
  • Surgical Management


  1. Bond-Smith G, Banga N, Hammond TM, Imber CJ (2012). "Pancreatic adenocarcinoma" (PDF). BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 344: e2476. doi:10.1136/bmj.e2476. PMID 22592847.
  2. http://www.bsg.org.uk/clinical-guidelines/pancreatic/guidelines-for-the-management-of-patients-with-pancreatic-cancer-periampullary-and-ampullary-carcinomas.html