Pancreatic cancer has been one of the most common cancer types nowadays. The proximity of the pancreas to stomach, liver, duodenum, spleen and kidneys make the surgery of pancreatic cancer very difficult. Despite the fact that the surgery of the pancreatic cancer was a risky operation in the past due to the difficulty of cleaning all the tumors, today there started new methods to be used and successful results have been taken from the operations.
The first indications of the pancreatic cancer are like the indications of most of the other cancer types. Most common indications are intensive nausea, anorexia, involuntary weight loss, darkening in urine color, intestinal obstruction, slowly developing jaundice, pain in the back, diarrhea, diabetes mellitus, and depression.
Today, patients are included in the treatment stages of pancreatic cancer and as a result more successful results are obtained from treatment and surgery. There are new treatment and surgery methods for pancreatic cancer nowadays. Even for the cases which cannot be operated on, oncologist and surgeons are able to clean the cancerous tumors properly by reducing the size of the tumors before the surgery. This method has been used also in cases with metastasis in the liver. In minimizing the tumor, interventional radiology applications as well as nuclear medicine and minimizing effects of radioactive materials are used before surgery.
Surgery of pancreatic cancer is a difficult process. The proximity of the pancreas to the large vessels leading to the liver and its being a gland lying in the back of the stomach make it difficult to operate.
It is not possible to distinguish the tumors in the pancreas head, duodenal gland and bile ducts at the surgery due to these three organs’ being adhere to each other. Therefore, it is a more effective treatment method to clear the region completely from the tumors with a technique called “whipple“.
With the recent medical developments, for the patients who have lost their chances of surgery, it is now possible to make the tumors smaller and more suitable for the operation by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and some other special treatments. Of course all these treatments and surgeries must be held by fully equipped hospitals which are specialized on cancer surgeries. Especially in whipple surgery existence of well-equipped anesthetic apparatus, intensive care are as important as the treatment process.