Other Pancreatic Tumors
85% of tumors that are found in the pancreas are adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. 15% of tumors that develop in the pancreas are not adenocarcinomas and these tumors often have a far better prognosis. Since many patients with these tumors are often cured after surgery, identification and aggressive treatment of these tumors is important.The tumor types that are found in this group include:
The majority of these tumors are non-malignant or benign, however even malignant tumors have five year survival rates in the order of 40 to 80% depending on the tumor type. In view of the excellent outcome, aggressive surgical therapy is indicated for these tumors, and the part of the pancreas that is affected by the tumor is removed.
At USC our emphasis has been to preserve as much of the pancreas as possible when removing benign and precancerous tumors to minimize the consequences of removal of large amounts of the pancreas such as diabetes and malabsorption (inability to digest food).
Specialized pancreatic procedures that are performed only in few centers in the United States such as a pancreatic head resection where only the head of the pancreas is removed preserving the duodenum and the bile duct that would otherwise be removed in a Whipple operation, central pancreatectomy where only the central portion of the pancreas is removed for tumors in this location preserving the head and body and tail of the pancreas and laparoscopic procedures that emphasize minimal access surgical technique for more rapid recovery are offered to patients at USC with benign tumors of the pancreas.