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Diagnosing Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma With Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasonography: A Literature Review of Research in Europe and Asia

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It is estimated that about 95% of malignant neoplasms affecting the pancreas are derived from acinar and/or ductal cells (i.e., exocrine cells) and typically resemble adenocarcinoma formation [4]. Thus, pancreatic cancer typically refers to an adenocarcinoma (i.e., a malignancy occurring within the glands of the organ) [4,5]. Patients who succumb to this disease typically remain asymptomatic, although jaundice is one of the primary symptoms indicative of this type of cancer, especially when the tumor is located in the head of the pancreas leading to biliary obstruction [6].

Other, more generalized, symptoms can exist as well, including steatorrhea, malabsorption, weight loss, abdominal discomfort, and abdominal bloating [3,4]. The risk factors for pancreatic cancer are generally broad in scope, including age, obesity, smoking, diabetes mellitus, and chronic pancreatitis [3,7]. Although familial history is relatively uncommon (about one in 10 cases), many hereditary genetic abnormalities, including BRCA2 gene mutation, can pose additional risks [8]. Despite the low prevalence of inherited pancreatic cancer, familial history and genetic susceptibility remain the main assessments of risk when considering patient enrollment within screening and early diagnosis programs  Read more . . .

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