Pancreatic cysts are fluid-filled growths in the pancreas. The first thing you need to know about pancreatic cysts is that they are not necessarily cancerous. However, the presence of pancreatic cysts is a risk factor for possible development of cancer at later stage of a patient’s life.
There are different types of pancreatic cysts which can be classified as follows:
Among the common cystic neoplasms, there are two important types of pancreatic cysts, which are intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN) and mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCN). These are commonly detected, and are considered to be the most at-risk types, as some may develop into cancer.
There are no definite identified causes of pancreatic cysts. Pancreatic pseudocysts can occur after pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or after abdominal injuries. Also, pancreatic cysts are associated with certain genetic or clinical conditions such as ‘von Hippel-Lindau disease’.
Pancreatic cysts are generally asymptomatic, and they are usually detected incidentally as part of a health screen or as part of an investigation for an unrelated problem. They may, however, cause mild to severe symptoms that are similar to those of pancreatic cancer.
Gastrointestinal pain, diabetes and jaundice are the possible symptoms that may result from pancreatic cysts. Below is a detailed list of pancreatic cysts symptoms:
Senior Consultant Surgeon
MBBS (Singapore), FRCS (Edinburgh), MMed (Surgery), MSc (Bioinformatics),
FAMS (General Surgery)
With 20 years of surgical experience, Dr Lee is trained and skilled in using minimally invasive techniques for liver, pancreas, gallbladder and hernia procedures.
His busy practice aside, Dr Lee is actively involved in postgraduate teaching and workshops for junior surgeons, and is still actively involved in academic research at the National University of Singapore.
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