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Ann Surg. 1986 Jan;203(1):77-81.

Collective review of small carcinomas of the pancreas.


To determine problems involved in the treatment and diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, a collective study of small carcinoma of the pancreas (2 cm or less in diameter) was performed. One hundred six cases were collected and analyzed. The results were as follows: In small carcinoma of the pancreas, the resectability rate was 99.0% and the operative mortality rate was 4%. Only 44% of the patients belonged to Stage I, and 14% belonged to Stage III or IV. Lymph node involvement, capsular invasion, retroperitoneal invasion, and vascular invasion were found in 30, 20, 12, and 9% of the patients, respectively. The postoperative cumulative 5-year survival rate was 30.3%, and that of Stage I was 37.0%. A small-sized tumor of the pancreas is not always an early carcinoma, but a tumor in Stage I may be regarded as an early carcinoma. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography were the main diagnostic indicators in cases with and without jaundice, respectively. There was no specific single serum test for detecting small pancreatic cancer.

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