A very rare pancreatic tumor that occurs almost exclusively in children. The tumor can grow large enough to push against and hence obstruct the passage of material in the gastrointestinal tract.
* Asymptomatic in early stages * Upper abdominal pain * Abdominal pain above the bellybutton * Gastrointestinal obstruction * Vomiting * Jaundice * Weight loss * Enlarged abdomen * Abdominal mass * Loss of appetite * Fatigue
ultrasound — can identify a mass but not its histology computed tomography scan — similar to ultrasound but shows greater detail angiography — shows vascular supply of tumor endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography — allows visualization, instillation of contrast medium, and specimen biopsy magnetic resonance imaging — shows tumor size and location in great detail.
Treatment of pancreatic cancer is rarely successful because this disease has usually metastasized widely at diagnosis. Therapy consists of surgery and, possibly, radiation and chemotherapy. Standard chemotherapy for patients with locally unresectable cancer includes gemcitabine. Gemcitabine has been demonstrated to improve the quality of life through better pain control, adequate performance status, decreased analgesic consumption, shrinkage of tumor, and prolonged survival.