What is Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas?
Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas, as well as acinar cell carcinoma, is a rare cancer of the acinar or exocrine gland cells of the pancreas. Among all the exocrine tumours of the pancreas, acinar cell carcinoma makes only 5%. It is the second most common type of pancreatic tumour. The pancreas is a large gland that is present in the human body behind the stomach and secretes digestive enzymes in the small intestine. The pancreas consists of exocrine glands along with insulin and glucagon, which secrete enzymes that are necessary for the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats present in our food.
Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma is more common in men than in women. The average age for the development of the disease is 60 years, ranging from 40-81 years. 5-year survival is 10%. The prognosis is poor in cases where the tumour spreads to other parts of the body.
Disease Etiology (Causes)
There is no well-known cause; however, certain mutations in the genes are responsible for the development of acinar cell pancreatic cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
In most cases, a patient has no specific signs and symptoms. A general symptom of weight loss was observed in patients. The classic picture, found in about 15% of cases, includes subcutaneous nodules (lumps under the skin) and joints pain caused by lipase (fat breaking enzyme) secretion.
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are;
- MR CPH (Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography)
- Acinar cell tumour biopsy
- Genetic testing for altered genes and proteins
The main treatment for acinar cancer is the Whipple procedure. This is the main surgical procedure in which the cancerous part of the pancreas and some parts of the duodenum are cut. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the treatment options for advance metastatic cases.
What Support can we Give for Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas?
Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. We provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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