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Minerva Chirurgica 2004 April;59(2):137-50

Copyright © 2004 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Surgical palliation in pancreatic cancer

Kuhlmann K. F. D., De Castro S. M. M., Gouma D. J.


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The prognosis of patients with pancreatic carcinoma is poor. At the time of diagnosis, approximately 80% of patients are found to have an unresectable tumour, because of local spread or metastatic disease. Therefore, most patients will undergo palliative treatment, which is aimed at the improvement of the quality of life and the prevention of symptoms. The most important symptoms which are associated with advanced pancreatic cancer are pain, obstructive jaundice and gastric outlet obstruction. Controversy remains on the question whether these symptoms should be treated surgically or non-surgically. This review describes the best evidence (if possible randomised controlled trials) in recent literature on the palliation of most important symptoms and focuses on surgical palliative treatment options.

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