Dr. Christopher Senkowski, surgical oncologist, outlines the symptoms and signs of pancreatic disease and how it can be treated.
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Pancreatic Disease: An
inflammation of the pancreas
– Patients that have
pancreatic tumors or cancer
sometimes present with a
yellowing of their eyes,
maybe a general weight loss
and not feeling strong.
They don't have a lot
of pain, unfortunately,
so sometimes they won't present
until things are fairly advanced.
So in those elderly patients,
usually you're talking about over 55.
Jaudice is what we call
yellowing of the eyes.
Patients with pancreatitis are different.
They have inflammation.
They present with pain in
their mid stomach area.
Those patients will be
pretty incapacitated
and wish to seek attention fairly rapidly.
Or they might have indigestion
every time they eat a fatty meal
and they might put that off as indigestion
when in fact they may
be having pancreatitis.
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Risk Factors for Pancreatic Diseases
Pancreatic diseases that
involve inflammation
are more common in people that are having
high lipid, out of control
triglycerides, or lipids,
people that have alcohol
use is a higher association,
diet related things
maybe on the fatty side
of their diet may be important,
presence of gallstones.
People that have gallstones,
normally get their gallbladder removed
when they're having pain
because we want to prevent them
from having pancreatitis down the road
which would be more significant for them.
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Treatments for Pancreatic Diseases
People that have pain in their
mid stomach area after eating
could be having gallstone
related pancreatitis.
Those patients need their
gallbladder removed.
Other patients that have
pancreatis for other reasons,
high triglycerides, they
would have to be controlled
with medications.
But some eventually have issues.
They have fluid
collections or inflammation
with chronic pain that needs
to have surgical attention
or at least surgical evaluation.
Patients with pancreatic tumors
that present with blockages
and yellowing of the eyes or jaundice
need an evaluation by a team of experts
to address that issue.
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