Ampullary cancer is a rare gastrointestinal cancer of the ampulla of Vater, an area where the bile duct and pancreatic ducts join and empty into the small intestine. Ampullary cancers are often confused with periampullary cancers that originate in the pancreas, bile duct, or intestines close to the ampulla of Vater. Ampullary cancers have better survival rate than periampullary cancers.
Smoking, history of health conditions primarily related to the gastrointestinal system, and diabetes mellitus increases the risk of ampullary cancers.
Consult your doctor when you experience:
The complications depend on the severity of the disease. The possible complications are bleeding, nausea, and vomiting.
Jaundice is the most common ampullary cancer symptom. This is because the tumor blocking the ampulla of Vater interferes with drainage of the pancreatic and biliary secretions into the intestine, resulting in accumulation of bile in the blood stream. The other symptoms of ampullary cancer include:
|Ampullary cancers account for 0.2% of tumors of gastrointestinal tract|
The doctors provide appropriate treatment depending on the size and stage of your tumor.Surgery : If the tumor is large and has spread to other parts, Whipple procedure may be recommended. In this surgical technique, the lower part of the stomach that includes gall bladder, distal common bile duct, head of the pancreas, the upper part of the small intestine and regional lymph nodes are removed. The other part of the stomach that includes biliary tree, and pancreas are attached to the cut end of the small intestine.
To relieve jaundice caused due to obstruction of cancer, biliary stents are placed endoscopically or through skin incisions.
Radiotherapy is usually not recommended for this type of cancer.
|The 5-year survival rate has reported with up to 30% to 50% of the patients which is greater than pancreatic cancer|
Jaundice is the most common symptom that leads the doctors to look for ampullary cancer as a possibility. The diagnosis of ampullary cancer is based on patient history and physical examination.
Tests and procedures for diagnosing ampulalry cancer include:Blood tests
These are usually used to estimate the hemoglobin content which can detect anemia caused by gastrointestinal bleeding.Liver function tests
The tests help to determine the levels of serum bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and aminotransferase as these levels are affected by ampullary cancer.Urine analysis
These tests indicate obstructive jaundice.Endoscopy
A thin flexible tube which has a fiber-optic video camera is passed down your throat, into your esophagus and stomach and also into the duodenum to look at the ampulla directly. In some cases, the sample is also taken to look for the cancer cells.
Endoscopicultrasonography is the more sensitive tool for diagnosis of Ampullary cancer and it detects the tumors less than 1 cm size.Tumor markers
TThese are substances released into the blood that may (not surely) indicate the presence of a particular tumor.Imaging studies
Ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI scan are used to determine the presence of gallstones.
Tips that help in coping with ampullary cancer