OCHSNER STORIES & MORE AT BLOG.OCHSNER.ORG
1 min read time
Dear Ochsner: Letters from Ochsner Patients
1 min read time
Ochsner Doctor's Note: Precision Cancer Therapies Program
Ochsner is home to the only nationally ranked gastroenterology and GI surgery program in the area. Our team exists to help our patients not only survive but thrive.
Historically, cancer of the pancreas has been a challenging disease, but here at Ochsner there are reasons to be optimistic. Today, modern surgical techniques can safely remove early tumors, and there have been promising improvements in systemic therapies. In addition, a renewed emphasis on funding research nationwide is fostering progress.
Best Hospital for Pancreatic Cancer in Louisiana and Mississippi
The Ochsner pancreatic cancer treatment center team combines knowledge and talent with experience. Our team utilizes advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches to pancreatic cancer resection. And with more than 100 surgeries in 2014, we performed the highest volume of resections in Louisiana and Mississippi. All together, our surgeons performed more than 65 Whipple resections, and more than 30% of these procedures included vascular resection and reconstruction.
Is experience really that important? It’s everything. Our patients’ outcomes have been well above the national average.
Putting the Team Approach to Work for Our Patients
We don’t just talk about the multi-disciplinary approach, we live it. At Ochsner, you’ll have a dedicated nurse navigator and a dedicated team of experts beside you every step of the way. Learn more about our team approach.
Types of Pancreatic Cancer
Cancerous tumors in the pancreas include:
- Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas - The most common type of pancreatic cancer that occurs in the lining of the pancreatic duct
- Cystadenocarcinoma - A rare pancreatic cancer that develops from a fluid-filled noncancerous (benign) tumor called a cystadenoma
- Pancreatic Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) – a rare tumors that arise from endocrine cells within or near the pancreas, NETs account for less than 5% of all pancreatic tumors.
Some noncancerous tumors in the pancreas include:
- Insulinoma - A rare pancreatic tumor that secretes insulin, which is the hormone that lowers glucose levels in the blood
- Gastrinoma - A tumor that secretes above average levels of gastrin, a hormone which stimulates the stomach to secrete acids and enzymes. Gastrinoma can also cause peptic ulcers.
- Glucagonoma - A tumor that secretes glucagon, a hormone which raises levels of glucose in the blood and leads to a rash
- Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) – A tumor that grows within the pancreatic ducts characterized by the production of mucinous.
Diagnostic Procedures For Pancreatic Cancer
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for pancreatic cancer may include:
- Endoscopic Ultrasound - A specialized diagnostic technique that uses high-frequency sound waves delivered through an endoscope to create high-quality images of the upper GI tract, including the pancreas
- Computed Tomography (CT or CAT scan) - A non-invasive procedure that takes cross-sectional images of the brain or other internal organs to detect any abnormalities that may not show up on an ordinary x-ray
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - A non-invasive procedure that produces two-dimensional views of an internal organ or structure, especially the brain and spinal cord
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) - This procedure involves inserting an endoscope, which is an advanced viewing tube, through the stomach and into the small intestine. A special dye injected during this procedure shows the ducts in the biliary system.
- Biopsy of the pancreas
- Special blood tests
Patient Housing Options
Patients may stay at Ochsner’s Brent House Hotel, a full-service hotel with guest rooms and suites adjacent to Ochsner Medical Center. Call toll free 1-800-535-3986 or go to brenthouse.com for more information.
Patients and a caregiver may also stay at the American Cancer Society’s Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge. This program helps patients cope with the cancer treatment process and provides a supportive environment for patients. Ochsner can help coordinate housing arrangements if needed and additional information is available by calling 504-219-2200.
Qualified patients and family members can obtain free lodging at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.