Pancreatic cancer is the 11th most common cancer type in India. Cancer of the pancreas is deadly because it has low survival rates. It is crucial to diagnose pancreatic cancer at a curative stage to increase the chances of survival. Primary treatment for pancreatic cancer is surgery. Surgery is also done as a palliative treatment with the presence of a precluded extrapancreatic disease. It occurs in both men and women and is deemed as the fourth-leading cause of deaths due to cancer. Some characteristic symptoms are weight loss, unrelenting pain especially at night, pain radiating to the mid-back or lower-back, pruritus, depression, ascites, palpable rectal metastatic mass.
Whipple procedure: Also known as pancreaticoduodenectomy, the surgery is beneficial if the tumour is located in the head of the pancreas, for ductal pancreatic tumours, bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma and masses in the duodenum. The procedure may involve resection of the pancreatic head, duodenum, antrum of the stomach and gallbladder. The distal pancreatic duct and biliary system are drained. All these organs share a common blood supply and so are removed together.
Distal pancreatectomy: This procedure is useful for the resection of tumours in the body and tail of the pancreas. The distal portion of the pancreas containing the tumour is isolated. That segment is resected and the distal pancreatic duct is oversewn.
Total pancreatectomy: The surgery is extremely beneficial for tumours involving the pancreatic neck (tumour develops in the neck or originates from the neck). These patients are susceptible to the development of insulin-dependent diabetes.