Pancreatic cancer is a condition that our dedicated practice at Atlantic Surgical Group has been providing compassionate and advanced care to residents of Central New Jersey.
There are two main types of pancreatic cancer, neuroendocrine tumors and adenocarcinoma. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, and weight loss. Some people may never have had any symptoms and might present with an incidental finding discovered on a CAT Scan or MRI done for an unrelated reason. If a mass is seen in the pancreas, you may need a biopsy. Typically this is done by endoscopy with a gastroenterologist. Once diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor, you will be evaluated by our surgeon for possible surgery. Our aim is to see you as soon as possible when you are diagnosed to provide immediate care. You may be required to have additional testing like blood work to assess liver and pancreas function and more imaging testing like a PET scan.
Our surgeon will determine if you can have surgery safely. Sometimes prior to surgery we will recommend chemotherapy in order to shrink a tumor to make surgery as safe as possible. If that's the case we will work closely with a medical oncologist and help place a port (a small device underneath the skin that helps with chemotherapy delivery). Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include a history of pancreatitis, smoking and family history of cancer. There are two types of surgery we perform for pancreatic cancers depending on the location of the tumor. A Whipple procedure is where we remove the head or first portion of the pancreas in addition to the duodenum (a portion of your small intestine), and the bile duct. We then reconnect all of the parts, and allow things to safely heal. Another procedure involves removing the body and tail of the pancreas, and possibly the spleen. Both procedures are done with your safety in mind, with the goal to cure you of cancer. The average length of stay in the hospital is about 7 days. The surgeries can be done laparoscopically or robotically, if indicated.
Prior to surgery we discuss your case at a multi-disciplinary tumor board where radiologists, oncologists, pathologists, other surgeons and allied health professionals meet to discuss your care. We discuss and if any clinical trials and/or additional treatments maybe needed. Following surgery you may need chemotherapy which we will discuss with your oncologist.
We are committed to safe and curative cancer care. We have experience taking care of these issues right here within Monmouth and Ocean counties. We work closely with your local doctors, including your primary medical doctor, to keep everyone updated on how you are doing. We perform this surgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center.
We know this is a very anxious time, and we take you and your families wishes and concerns as top priority. We know that this is a long road and we plan to be here every step of the way with you, utilizing our dedicated staff, nursing team and our physician assistant.
If you are newly diagnosed with a pancreatic mass and would like an appointment please call our office at 732-531-5445 and ask for Dr. E. Marisol Pichardo.
At Atlantic Surgical Group our expertise and compassion is used to help take care of patients who have tumors or growths within the liver. There are many different tumors in the liver, some are benign and some are malignant (cancerous). Some examples of benign tumors we take care of are liver cyst, adenoma and hemangioma. Majority of these tumors can be closely watched by your liver surgeon on a 6 month or yearly basis. Some of these benign tumors may need to be removed if they are causing symptoms such as pain or difficulty eating.
Some masses in the liver are malignant, or cancerous. The most common type of cancer we see are tumors that are metastatic, most commonly from colon cancer, that has spread to the liver or tumors that originate from the liver called hepatocellular carcinoma. In both cases, it is important to get evaluated by a surgeon to assess what treatment plan can be made to safely treat and hopefully cure the patient. The liver has the extraordinary ability to regenerate which enables us to perform liver surgery safely and even remove giant tumors from the liver. We also utilized tools like intra-operative ultrasound at time of surgery to help further evaluate the tumor and plan for safe surgery. Liver surgery can be variable and could involve taking out a small portion or wedge of the liver or it may involve a formal resection where half or more than half the liver maybe required to be removed. Your liver surgeon will determine the best course of treatment to help you. Sometimes, liver surgery cannot be done safely, depending on the location of the liver tumor. In this situation, other treatment options can be considered. Some non-surgical options to treat liver tumors include treatments available through Interventional Radiology such a transarterial chemo embolization (TACE), ablation and radioactive bead therapy (Y-90). Sometimes radiation is also used to help treat these tumors as well as chemotherapy if needed. Your liver surgeon will also make recommendations to help best decide which treatment options to choose, and will be able to refer you to excellent, highly skilled doctors who are specialists in these treatments.
At Atlantic Surgical Group, we try to provide the safest options to deal with masses in the liver. We evaluate these masses at local tumor boards where a multi-disciplinary review is done of your case with radiologists, oncologists, surgeons and other health care professionals to come up with a care plan. We also perform surgery in a laparoscopic or minimally invasive technique if applicable.
If you would like an evaluation of a liver mass, please call our office at 732-531-5445.