Fatty Infiltration Of Liver And Pancreas

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas, a large organ that lies horizontally behind the lower part of the stomach. Pancreatic cancer occurs most commonly in men between the ages of 35 and 70, it is the fourth most common cause of cancer mortality (behind lung cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer). Pancreatic cancer is usually an adenocarcinoma and it usually arises from the pancreatic duct cells which make up the major part of the pancreas.

Cause of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is caused by damage to genes, but it is not known exactly why this damage happens. Evidence suggests that it is linked to exposure to carcinogens such as; cigarettes, food high in fat and protein and food additives. Possible predisposing factors are chronic pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus and chronic alcohol abuse.

There is some evidence that people who don't eat many fresh vegetables and fruits are more at risk from pancreatic cancer. Being overweight may cause a small increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer. Some industrial chemicals called chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents have been linked to pancreatic cancer, although they are unlikely to be a major factor. Other chemicals and exposures that have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in some studies include pesticides, radiation, nickel, chromium and iron.

The average age of onset of pancreatic cancer is between 70 to 80 but heavy smokers and heavy drinkers present with pancreatic cancer an average of seven to 10 years earlier than the rest of the population.
Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer
The most common are weight loss, abdominal or low back pain, jaundice and diarrhea.
Other more general effects include; fever, skin lesions, depression, anxiety and a premonition of impending death. Ascites ( fluid retention in the abdomen ) can be a sign of pancreatic tumors.

Diagnosis
It is very difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer as the pancreas is so deep within the body and symptoms vary depending on the exact location of the tumor in the pancreas and which cells or function of the pancreas is affected by the tumour or cancer. Unfortunately the symptoms of pancreatic cancer can also be quite vague and non specific and may be caused by many other more common and less serious conditions.

Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it is a leading cause of cancer death. Pancreatic cancer specialists believe that anyone over 50 who develops diabetes and has unexplained weight loss should be investigated for other pancreatic disease. Courvoisier sign defines the presence of jaundice and a painlessly distended gallbladder as strongly indicative of pancreatic cancer and may be used to distinguish pancreatic cancer from gallstones.

Treatment
Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on the stage and location of the cancer as well as on your age, overall health and personal preferences. The first goal of pancreatic cancer treatment is to eliminate the cancer, when possible. When that isn't an option, the focus may be on preventing the pancreatic cancer from growing or causing more harm. Pancreatic cancer is relatively resistant to medical treatment and the only potentially curative treatment is surgery. Radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer can palliate pain but does not affect the patients survival.

Gemcitabine was approved by the US FDA in 1998 after a clinical trial reported improvements in quality of life in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Management of pain and other symptoms is an important part of the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.

Prognosis
Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early and the median survival period from the time of diagnosis until demise is arguably the worst of any of the cancers. The best predictors of long term survival after surgery are a tumor diameter of less than 3 cm, no nodal involvement, negative resection margins, and diploid tumor DNA content.

Due to difficulties in diagnosis, the aggressive nature of pancreatic cancer and the limited systemic treatments available, the five-year survival rate for patients who have pancreatic adenocarcinoma is only about 5%. For pancreatic cancer that cannot be removed completely with surgery, or cancer that has spread beyond the pancreas, cure is not currently possible and the average survival is usually less than 1 year.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    please help me iam scared..what this could be?
    ultrasound shows Liver normal in size..Its echogenecity is uniformly increased...spleen,kidneys,pancreas rest all are in normal size...Impression -Fatty Infiltration of liver...I met 3 doctors (in which two doctors are gastroenterologist..they did blood test(complete blood count,platelets count,serum creatinine,urine test etc..all were normal..i dont know about the rest of blood test..they have put me on diet and exercise & all 3 doctors say it will go away after 3 months..i have never drank any alcohol or other things..just little bit lazy & has been on sedentary life(no exercise for past 4 yrs)...but im really afraid of it...many say there are four stages in fatty livers...can any1 tell me im in which stage with the above information?

    • ANSWER:
      DO NOT WORRY man fatty liver is due typically your life style as you discribed and when you change your life style by bit of exercise and balnced diet low in fats ,it is going to be alright , but you must have will power to change life style for longer days to come.Good luck.

  2. QUESTION:
    Hodgkins lymphoma: Worried about result of my last CT Scan?
    I had a Hodgkin's lymphoma in early stage and i have taken a radiotherapy since 2 years ago and treatment has finished since 2008 and i am fine and following up every 4 months.
    Last week I did a CT scan and the result came as the following:
    1-Tiny Bilateral cervical & axillary nodes are seen.
    2- No significant interval change in the tiny right lung nodule.
    3- No significant interval change in the prevascular soft tissue (remnant thymus).
    4- Soft issue density in both breast-probable gynecomastia.
    5-Focal hypo density representing focal fatty infiltration is seen adjacent to fissure in liver.
    6-GB, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, adrenals, UB and prostate are unremarkable.
    7- No sizable Para aortic adenopathy or ascites.

    Would you please advise me if there is any thins serious about these results especially the first one (cervical & axillary nodes).

    Thank you,
    Best Regards

    • ANSWER:
      You questions need to be asked of your oncologist. The oncologist has all your past test results to use for a comparison. Just phone their office and say you were so excited that you forgot to ask a couple of questions. Normally the nurse is willing to answer these thing over the phone. IF the Bilateral cervical and axillary nodes are changes, ask what you should be doing ... for instance should you have a follow-up ct?

  3. QUESTION:
    Hodgkins lymphoma: Please Advise, I am worried about result of my last CT Scan?
    Would you please advise me if there is any thing serious about these results especially the first one (cervical & axillary nodes) as I wasn't satisfied with what has the Dr. told me.

    I had a Hodgkin's lymphoma in early stage and i have taken a radiotherapy since 2 years ago and treatment has finished since 2008 and i am fine and following up every 4 months.
    Last week I did a CT scan and the result came as the following:
    1-Tiny Bilateral cervical & axillary nodes are seen.
    2- No significant interval change in the tiny right lung nodule.
    3- No significant interval change in the prevascular soft tissue (remnant thymus).
    4- Soft issue density in both breast-probable gynecomastia.
    5-Focal hypo density representing focal fatty infiltration is seen adjacent to fissure in liver.
    6-GB, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, adrenals, UB and prostate are unremarkable.
    7- No sizable Para aortic adenopathy or ascites.

    Thank you,
    Best Regards

    • ANSWER:
      This is a normal CT. If you do not believe your doctor you need a different one.