What is a Carcinoid Tumor of the Pancreas?
A carcinoid tumour of the pancreas is a rare type of neuroendocrine cancer of the pancreas that originates from the serotonin secreting cells. Carcinoid tumours can also originate from the gastrointestinal (esophagus, stomach, and intestines) tract and air tract of the respiratory system. The frequency of occurrence of the disease is 0.59%. In 44.9% of cases, it originates from the serotonin secreting cells of the head of the pancreas. It is more common in females as compared to males with a female to male ratio is 1.5:1. It usually develops in people between the ages of 22-and 78 years with a mean age of 49.3years. A carcinoid tumour of the pancreas can spread to other parts of the body, with the liver and the nearby lymph nodes being the most common sites of metastasis.
What is Pancreas?
The pancreas is an organ of the human body located in the abdominal cavity. IT plays a role in food digestion and blood sugar regulation.
There is no well-known reason. However, studies show that changes in the DNA of pancreatic islet cells are the main cause of pancreatic carcinoid tumours.
Signs and Symptoms
The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Flushing of the face (redness and warmth on the neck and face)
- Lose motion (diarrhea)
- Rapid heart rate
- Whistle or coarse rattle sound from the air tract (trachea and bronchi)
- Enlarged or swelling of the lymph nodes
The following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Complete blood count ( CBC)
- Blood coagulation profile (for example partial thromboplastin time PTT, international normalized ratio INR)
- Serum electrolyte levels
- Liver function tests (LFTs)
- Abdominal USG, CT scan and MRI
- Immunohistochemical staining
- Serum serotonin levels
- Serum 5-HIAA
The selection of suitable treatment depends upon multiple factors like the size, number, and location of the tumour. Other factors are the overall performance of the pancreas, presence or absence of the spread of the tumour to the liver, nearby lymph nodes and other distant parts of the body, presence or absence of the Liver cirrhosis, its extent, and risk involved in the case of surgery due to the extent of the cirrhosis. On behalf of the above mentioned factors there are the following treatment options;
- Resection; surgical removal of the tumour along with some healthy tissues from the surroundings of the tumour to stop the spread of cancer in the early stage of cancer.
- Radiofrequency Ablation; is a non-surgical technique to kill and stop the spread of cancer cells in cases where surgery is not a suitable option.
- Targeted immunotherapy
What Support can we Give for Carcinoid Tumour of the Pancreas?
Carcinoid Tumour of the Pancreas is 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. So, 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 Carcinoid Tumour 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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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: