Is Pancreatic Cysts A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed?

Although most pancreatic cysts are non-cancerous and do not show symptoms, some large ones can block the ducts and result in severe pain.1

Pancreatic cysts rarely become infected and rupture. A ruptured cyst can be chronic and requires immediate medical intervention.2

Pancreatitis often requires surgical resection and nearly 85-95% of the patients have been successfully cured after the therapy.3,4

Is Pancreatic Cysts A Serious Condition?

Not all the cysts are treated in the same way therefore when you experience unnatural abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, weight loss, it can be a symptom of a pancreatic cyst. During such instances, it is often important to check with your healthcare provider about your condition. The treatment plan will depend on the location, type, and size of the cyst.

Although most pancreatic cysts are non-cancerous and do not show symptoms, some large ones can block the ducts and result in severe pain. The diagnosis is generally incidental say, medical experts. Studies suggest that pancreatic cysts are often diagnosed during an imaging test for an abdominal injury on a minor accident.1

The growth of the cysts should be monitored carefully. Pancreatic cysts rarely become infected and rupture. A ruptured cyst can be chronic and requires immediate medical intervention. The untreated condition can be life-threatening leading to severe peritonitis and septic conditions.

Drainage of the cysts is the best suited surgical choice and perhaps the only choice available.

Similarly, a scan alone will not reveal if the cyst is cancerous or not, your doctor may suggest for a biopsy to have a detailed study on their characteristics. A biopsy will assess whether the tested cyst contains malignant cells. Less than 1-2 percent of pancreatic cysts become cancerous. Cancerous cysts require surgical resection however these operations are critical and highly serious.

Some cysts can be pre-cancerous, they are benign cysts but has potential chances of progressing to the malignant tumor over time.2

Can Pancreatic Cysts Be Reversed?

Early removal of certain pancreatic cysts can decrease the chances of cancer and increase the possibility of survival. A medical study was conducted by John Hopkins Medicine and Sweden Institute on 900 adults who underwent surgery for their precancerous pancreatic cyst.

The study demonstrated that removing the intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms before the ducts enlarge more than 5mm in size have considerably reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading factor of cancer mortality that affects hundreds and thousands of Americans every year. Although the condition is not reversible yet certain foods should be avoided if you want to keep yourself from uncomfortable symptoms. This includes

  • Alcohols can affect your physical health and can cause permanent damage to your liver
  • Caffeine in small amounts can be good for heart however can increase inflammation of your pancreas
  • Too acidic and high fats cause the inflammation to start up again

Pancreatitis often requires surgical resection however nearly 85-95% of the patients have been successfully cured after the therapy.3,4

The pancreas is one of the most vital organs of the body with two primary functions: it secretes pancreatic enzymes required for digestion and it produces hormones (insulin) to control your blood sugar levels.

Cysts are common in the pancreas and they are formed as sac-like pockets filled with fluids. In general, pancreatic cysts are benign and they are not something to be worried about. Unfortunately, a small percentage of the cyst becomes malignant over time and causes inflammations accompanied by several other severe complications.

References:

  1. “Pancreatic Cysts.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 28 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatic-cysts/symptoms-causes/syc-20375993.
  2. Publishing, Harvard Health. “Should I Be Worried about a Pancreatic Cyst?” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/should-i-be-worried-about-a-pancreatic-cyst.
  3. 2019, May 15. “Early Removal of Some Pancreatic Cysts Could Decrease Cancer Risk, Save Lives.” News, 15 May 2019, www.news-medical.net/news/20190515/Early-removal-of-some-pancreatic-cysts-could-decrease-cancer-risk-save-lives.aspx.
  4. StatPearls. “Pancreatic Cysts.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 5 July 2020, www.statpearls.com/kb/viewarticle/37144.

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