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Saturday, June 7, 2008

What is Peri-Ampullary Cancer?

According to Dr. Jaime Ignacio, immediate past president of the Philippine Society for Gastroenterology, peri-ampullary cancer is the growth of tumor in the ampulla, a passage of bile duct in the intestines.

From the liver, bile duct supplies bile to the intestine, the liquid which digest the food in-take of a person. If the ampulla has a tumor, bile doesn't flow in the intestines resulting in inflammation of the bile duct.

Ignacio said that periampullary cancer is rare. For every 100,000 people, only 100 develop the illness. The cause of the condition is still unknown.

The following symptoms that might indicate periamplullary cancer: weight loss and bleeding of the ampulla which will be evident in a patient's stool. He added that the patient usually feels no pain.

Ignacio said this type of cancer is not easily detected and it may be too late for the patient once it is finally identified.

"Kadalasan kasi, inaakalang hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer o ibang sakit sa atay ang peri-ampullary cancer kaya hindi ito agad nalalapatan ng tamang lunas," Ignacio explained.

Treatment options include surgical removal of the tumor or loosening of the obstruction on the bile duct, technically referred to as endoscopic retrograde cholangoi-pancreatography.

In its later stages, peri-ampullary cancer cells spread to the liver. The survival rate is recorded at four out of ten people who are usually declared to be under remission if they remain cancer-free two years after the periampullary cancer was first discovered.

Ignacio advised that to be safe and on guard against periampullary cancer or any other liver condition, a person should see a specialist immediately if he or she manifests jaundice

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