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PANCREATIC CYSTS

DEVELOPMENT OF CYSTS IN THE PANCREAS MAY PRECEDE PANCREATIC CANCER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Cysts are fluid filled lesions found in many places in the body.  Recently some types of cysts in the pancreas have been recognized as precursors for pancreatic cancer.  Anne Marie Lennon, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins and one member of a team begun to evaluate and study pancreatic cysts, describes the effort.

LENNON (ANN MARIE): We’ve started a multidisciplinary pancreatic cyst clinic.  Pancreatic cysts we’re seeing them far more commonly than we used to, it’s estimated that up to 5% of the population may have pancreatic cysts.  Why are we seeing them more frequently?  A lot of people are getting imaging nowadays.  Secondly people are living longer, and thirdly this is a very new disease.  It was only described for the first time in the 1980s.  it was only classified as a disease in 1996 by the World Health Organization.   :29

Lennon says finding these cysts may be like polyps in the colon, pointing the way to earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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